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Full text of "Influencing men in business; the psychology of argument and suggestion"

I 



INFLUENCING MEN 
IN BUSINESS 

THE PSYCHOLOGY 

OF 

ARGUMENT AND SUGGESTION 



BY 



WALTER DILL SCOTT, PH. D. 

Director of the Psychological Laboratory, 
Northwestern University 



NEW YORK ^ i ; v 
THE RONALD PRESS COMPANY 
1911 



.5 



COPYRIGHT 1911, 

BY 
THE RONALD PRESS COMPANY 



Entered at Stationers' Hall, London 



All rights reserved 



The author respectfully dedicates this contribution to the 
psychology of business to the 

YOUNG BUSINESS MAN 

whose interest is in influencing men rather than in han- 
dling things; and who is studying to make his 
arguments more convincing and his 
suggestions more coercive. 



241265 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I Introductory. 9 

II An Analysis of Deliberation. 19 

III An Analysis of Suggestion. 35 

IV What is Your Method of Deciding Ques- 

tions and Reaching Conclusions? 55 

V When to Use Arguments and when Sug- 
gestions in Influencing Men. 75 
VI When to Use Arguments and when Sug- 
gestions in Influencing Men. (Con- 
tinued.) 87 
VII Making Arguments Effective. 101 
VIII Making Suggestions Effective. 149 



CHAPTER I 
INTRODUCTORY 

OUTLINE 

I. Business Success is Largely Dependent upon Ability 

to Influence Men. 

II. To Explain How Men are Influenced is a Problem 
for Psychology. 

III. Typical Business Problems for Psychological Solution. 

IV. Appeals to Reason. 

V. Suggestion is a More Subtle Force than Reason. 
VI. All Methods of Influencing Men may be Classified 
either as Argument or Suggestion. 



CHAPTER I 
INTRODUCTORY 

I. BUSINESS SUCCESS is LARGELY DE- 
PENDENT UPON ABILITY TO INFLU- 
ENCE *MEN. ^ 

DURING the last few decades the business 
world has brought about a complete revolu- 
tion in the methods of manufacturing, dis- 
tributing and selling goods. That the 
revolution is beneficial and important no 
business man will deny. But however im- 
portant 'these things! are, the business man 
realizes that his most pressing problem is 
methods of influencing and handling men 
rather than things; 

The young man looking forward to a 
career sees that the man who has unusual 
ability in handling men is sure to attain the 
position of superintendent or manager; but 
that the man who has great cunning in 
handling material things is not thereby as- 
sured of a position above that of a skilled 
mechanic. 

9 



10 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

II. To EXPLAIN How MEN ARE IN- 
FLUENCED is A PROBLEM FOR PSY- 
CHOLOGY. 

The business world is now in possession 
of many thoroughly established laws and 
principles for the manufacture of goods, for 
their preservation and transportation; for 
the best utilization of tools and equipment; 
for the generation of power, and for numer- 
ous processes connected with the handling of 
material things. The physical sciences, such 
as physics and chemistry, have made their 
contributions and the business world has 
profited thereby and has been enabled to 
bring about this revolution. 

The business world has not been able to 
revolutionize its methods of handling and 
influencing men. The young man prepar- 
ing for his future career has not been able 
to secure adequate instruction in methods 
of controlling men. He could enter a tech- 
nical school and be assured of securing prac- 
tical instruction in dealing with any desired 
class of material things. Just as there could 
be no technical schools except as they are 



INTRODUCTORY 11 

founded upon the sciences, such as physics 
and chemistry, so there can be no adequate 
instruction in methods of influencing men 
except it be founded upon the particular 
science which deals with the thoughts and 
acts of men, i.e., psychology. 

Although the science of psychology is not 
a completed science, and even though its 
incompleteness is especially apparent in some 
particulars having special bearing upon the 
problems of business, yet the great funda- 
mental principles of psychology are well 
worked out and these are of prime impor- 
tance. 

III. TYPICAL, BUSINESS PROBLEMS FOR 
PSYCHOLOGICAL SOLUTION. 

The purpose of the present work is to set 
forth certain facts and principles of psy- 
chology which are established, and which 
have a most direct and practical bearing 
upon the problem of influencing men under 
conditions existing in the business world. 
Typical examples of definite business prob- 
lems for psychological solution are such as 
the following: 



12 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

(a) How may I induce my employees to 
improve the quantity and quality of their 
work? 

(b) How may I induce particular men 
to enter my employ? 

(c) How may I sell you my line of goods 
by personal appeal? 

(d) How may I induce you to purchase 
this same line of goods if I confine my sell- 
ing plan to printed advertising? 

IV. APPEALS TO REASON. 

There are business men who have been 
eminently successful in handling men, and 
who because of their successes assert that our 
four typical problems have been definitely 
solved. They assert that their success is 
due to the fact that they respect the reason- 
ing power of men. They secure improved 
service from employees by showing them 
the advantages of such improvement. They 
rely upon the argument that improved 
service leads to increased wages or promo- 
tion. They secure the services of new men 
by presenting the advantages of the prof- 
fered position in a logical manner. In 



INTRODUCTORY 13 

selling goods they analyze their proposi- 
tions to find the strongest arguments in 
favor of the goods and then the arguments 
are arranged in a logical and climactic or- 
der. In preparing copy for an advertise- 
ment they use the "reason-why" copy and 
attempt to make the reader feel that there 
is "a reason why." 

V. SUGGESTION is A MORE SUBTLE FORCE 
THAN REASON. 

There is another group of men, fully as 
successful, who assure us that their suc- 
cesses in handling men are due to a force 
far more subtle than reasoning. They 
grant the possibility of reasoning with men, 
and even concede that on paper it seems the 
wisest thing to do. In practice, however, 
they have but little confidence in argumen- 
tation, for they believe that men in the busi- 
ness world do not frequently carry out elab- 
orate processes of reasoning. In securing 
increased efficiency from employees these 
successful managers of men claim that they 
have been successful because they have used 
suggestion rather than argument; because 



14 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

they have appealed to "the subconscious 
self" rather than to the intellect; because 
they have thus secured immediate action 
rather than deliberation. Suggestion rather 
than argument has been depended upon not 
only for influencing employees but also for 
securing the services of new men, for sell- 
ing by personal appeal and for selling by 
advertising. 

VI. ALL METHODS OF INFLUENCING MEN 
MAY BE CLASSIFIED EITHER AS AR- 
GUMENT OR AS SUGGESTION. 

Since business success is largely depend- 
ent upon ability to influence men, and since 
all methods of exerting such influence may 
be classified under our two headings of Ar- 
gument and Suggestion, it is of very great 
importance that we should be in a position 
to judge correctly the contention of the two 
classes of successful men as cited above 
the one advocating argument (reason) and 
the other suggestion. To enable us to pass 
judgment wisely upon the respective claims 
we must understand exactly what are the 
results secured by argument and the results 



INTRODUCTORY 15 

secured by suggestion. Our point of view 
must be that of the man who is being influ- 
enced. What mental processes normally 
take place as a result of argument (the pre- 
senting of arguments) and what mental 
processes normally result from presenting 
suggestions? These questions must be an- 
swered before we are in a position to decide 
whether argument or suggestion is the bet- 
ter adapted for the uses of a business man. 



CHAPTER II 

AN ANALYSIS OF DELIBERA- 
TION. 

OUTLINE. 

Deliberation Results from the Presenting of Arguments 
or Reasons. 

A Typical Act of Deliberation Consists of: 
I. An Idea of Two or More Diverse Things Only One of 

Which may be Chosen. 
II. An Idea of the Steps Necessary to Secure the Things. 

III. A Feeling, of Value Attaching to Each of the Things. 

IV. A Comparison of Relative Values. 
V. A Choice and Execution. 



CHAPTER II 

AN ANALYSIS OF DELIBER- 
ATION 

DELIBERATION RESULTS FROM THE PRE- 
SENTING OF ARGUMENTS OR REASONS. 

IN the following analysis of the results 
of an argument it is assumed that the argu- 
ment is good and that the man being ap- 
pealed to is caused to consider or to delib- 
erate. We shall try to discover what is 
meant by such expressions as: 

"What do I do when I am deliberating?" 
"What do you do when you deliberate?" 
To make the analysis concrete and definite 
and to see its bearings upon our four typi- 
cal problems the questions may be put in 
this form: 

What do you do 

(a) When you deliberate as to whether 
you shall change your method of work? 

(b) When you are deliberating as to 

19 



20 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

whether you shall accept or reject a prof- 
fered change in position? 

(c) When you are deliberating as to 
whether you shall purchase or reject the 
goods offered by a salesman? 

(d) When you are debating as to 
whether you shall respond to an advertise- 
ment? 

A TYPICAL ACT or DELIBERATION CONSISTS 

OF: 
I. AN IDEA OF Two OR MORE DIVERSE 

THINGS ONLY ONE OF WHICH MAY 

BE CHOSEN. 

If I am attempting to induce you to 
change your method of work you deliberate 
only if you consider what I propose and if 
my proposition is in only partial possession 
of your mind when your thought of my 
proposition is not free from your thought of 
your method of working; when you first 
have in mind the one method and then the 
other, and, even when you are thinking of 
the one, you are aware that the other is still 
to be thought of. First the new and then 
the habitual method of work occupies the 



AN ANALYSIS OF DELIBERATION 21 

focus of attention but at no time does either 
secure the full undivided attention. So 
soon as you have settled on one alternative 
and thoroughly banished the other your de- 
liberation has ceased. 

If I am attempting to induce you to leave 
your present position and to accept a posi- 
tion with me, you may be said to deliberate 
upon the proposition if you seriously con- 
sider it in contrast to your present posi- 
tion. During the deliberation the alterna- 
tives successively enter the focus of atten- 
tion. Reasons for retaining the old position 
and reasons for accepting the new keep pass- 
ing through your mind. You feel all the 
time that the problem is not solved and that 
before you finish you are again to think of 
the alternative partially banished from 
thought. 

If I am a salesman and am attempting to 
sell you my particular line of goods you 
do deliberate upon the purchase if you think 
of the goods as possible purchases but have 
a feeling that other goods must at least 
be considered. The other goods may never 
be fully in consciousness but their presence 



22 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

must at least be sufficient to make you feel 
that the purchase of other goods is possible 
and worthy of consideration. My line of 
goods does not impress you as the only thing 
to be considered. In considering them you 
have a feeling that the evidence is not all in, 
and so you are led to consider, more or less 
definitely, competing lines of goods or to 
consider the advisability of not purchasing. 
When you read an advertisement and de- 
liberate as to whether you shall purchase the 
goods or not, the advertisement fails to oc- 
cupy your complete attention. You com- 
pare the goods advertised with other similar 
goods, or you compare purchasing with not 
purchasing at all. The competing thoughts 
may for a time practically banish the adver- 
tisement from your mind. In some cases 
the advertisement seems to hold the attention 
continuously, but all the time you realize that 
there are other possible goods and so you 
consider the advertised goods in their rela- 
tionship to the other and perhaps better 
known goods. You are said to have an 
idea of two or more acts or ends even though 
but one is clear and the other is present only 



AN ANALYSIS OF DELIBERATION 23 

to the extent of making you aware that there 
is another to which you could turn your at- 
tention if necessary. 

A TYPICAL ACT OF DELIBERATION CONSISTS 

OF: 

II. AN IDEA OF THE STEPS NECESSARY TO 
SECURE THE THINGS. 

I shall purchase either a new encyclope- 
dia or a new typewriter. I can not afford 
to purchase both at this time. I am delib- 
erating as to which would be more useful. I 
have tried to get an adequate idea of each 
but I find that my ideas are not merely of 
encyclopedia and typewriter, but rather of 
myself -securing-and-possessing-the-encyclo- 
pedia, and of myself-securing-and-posses- 
sing-the-typewriter. I do not conceive of 
these possible purchases as things in the ab- 
stract but myself as purchasing them is an 
essential part of my deliberation. In 
imagination I go down to the book-store and 
select the volumes; in imagination I go to 
the telephone and ask to have the typewriter 
sent up on approval. In imagination I take 
the steps necessary to secure the things. 



24 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

This taking of the necessary steps is an im- 
portant part in deliberation. In anticipa- 
tion we try out the thing proposed. 

If I am thoroughly convinced that I want 
a thing I will take the trouble to find out 
what steps are necessary to secure it. If, 
however, it was a matter of but little dif- 
ference which of two purchases I should 
make, I would make the one that caused me 
the least thought. If of two equally desir- 
able advertised commodities one gave me 
full instructions as to how I should place my 
order and the other left me to think it out, I 
should take the line of least resistance and 
order the one which gave the instructions. 
Full directions as to the necessary steps for 
placing the order cause me to form an image 
of myself as ordering. This projection of 
myself in imagination into the future and 
into the acts necessary for placing the order 
greatly increase the chances that I shall re- 
spond favorably to the appeal. 

In deliberation the idea of the necessary 
steps may be very vague and symbolic but 
in some form it is undoubtedly present. In 
persuading men it is wise to make this idea 



AN ANALYSIS or DELIBERATION 25 

of the necessary steps as clear and distinct 
as possible because of the very important 
part it plays in deliberation. 

A TYPICAL ACT OF DELIBERATION IN- 
CLUDES : 

III. A FEELING or VALUE ATTACHING TO 
EACH or THE THINGS. 

Not only are we capable of having knowl- 
edge about possible objects of choice but 
these ends thrill us more or less with pleas- 
ure or displeasure. The "thrill" may be 
very mild but it is an essential part of an 
act of deliberation. We are creatures with 
feelings and unless a thing awakens this 
feeling of value it is dropped from consider- 
ation. 

If by the applications of rigid logic we 
have apparently succeeded in convincing a 
man "against his will" we should not be sur- 
prised to find him "of the same opinion 
still." If the arguments succeed in merely 
convincing him that he ought to perform a 
certain act, but if they do. not make that act 
seem valuable, and hence if they do not ere- 



26 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

ate a real desire to perform the act, the ar- 
guments have not been successful. 

If I propose that you change your method 
of work the proposed change will not be 
considered by you unless it, to a degree, 
awakens hope, creates enthusiasm or appeals 
to you as being worth while. It must in 
some way make its appeal to human inter- 
est and human sentiment. The deliberation 
is not merely a logical process but is a proc- 
ess which is continued only so long as the 
ends being considered continue to awaken a 
feeling of value. So soon as this feeling of 
value fails to be present in connection with 
the old method of work or with my proposed 
method, at that moment deliberation is at 
an end. 

A TYPICAL ACT OF DELIBERATION CONSISTS 

OF: 
IV. A COMPARISON OF RELATIVE VALUES. 

I recently deliberated as to whether I 
should attend the annual convention of psy- 
chologists at Minneapolis. When I tried 
"to think it over," what I actually was doing 
was not so much comparing attending with 



AN ANALYSIS OF DELIBERATION 27 

not attending. My difficulty was rather in 
getting the alternatives classified so that I 
could compare them. This is typical of 
most of the comparisons in deliberation. In 
the discussion of comparison we assume that 
it includes the classifying of the alterna- 
tives so that they are rendered capable of 
comparison. 

In an act of deliberation two or more 
possible choices must be considered, but 
more than that, the alternatives must be con- 
sciously compared and judgments passed 
upon them. There must be a feeling of 
value attaching to each of the possible 
choices and there must be a more or less ex- 
plicit comparing of these feelings of value. 
Doubtless this comparing is often kept out 
of attention but in a typical act of delibera- 
tion the comparison is not subconscious but 
is a process which we perform more or less 
voluntarily and of which we are aware at 
the moment of making the comparison. 

When you listen to my arguments in 
favor of my merchandise and are led to de- 
liberate upon the purchase, you consciously 
bring together the advantages or values of 



28 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

my goods in comparison with some compet- 
ing goods and pass the judgment of more- 
valuable or less-valuable upon them. You 
not only think of one and then of the other 
or even of one in relation to the other but 
you think of the two alternatives as stand- 
ing in a particular relationship to each 
other, i. e., as having a greater or a less 
value. Unless there is such a comparison 
and unless it is more or less a conscious 
process you can not be said to have deliber- 
ated at all. 

A TYPICAL ACT or DELIBERATION CONSISTS 

OF: 
V. A CHOICE AND EXECUTION. 

Frequently arguments are presented and 
deliberation is begun but it is never com- 
pleted because this last step (choice and ex- 
ecution) is not carried out. The great 
danger in attempting to influence men by 
means of arguments is just this, that the 
argument will cause the men to begin to 
deliberate but will not be adequate to secure 
the final and essential step. 

A choice and an execution may result 



AN ANALYSIS OF DELIBERATION 29 

without deliberation (e. g. f the result of imi- 
tation) so they are not the peculiarly char- 
acterizing features of deliberation. The 
steps which precede the choice differ in acts 
which may be classed as deliberative and in 
those which should not be so classed. We 
should reserve the term deliberation for the 
completed act including the five steps. 

You may properly be said to have de- 
liberated if you have decided to continue 
your old method of work (or to adopt the 
new) : 

(1) After you have had definitely in 
mind what is involved in the proposed 
change, 

(2) After you have imagined yourself as 
taking the necessary steps to effect the pro- 
posed change, 

(3) After you have felt the value of the 
new method as well as that of the old, 

(4) After you have classified and com- 
pared the relative values and decided in 
favor of one of the alternatives or the other, 

(5) And then have taken steps to put 
your choice into execution. 

The choice may or may not be made with 



30 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

a feeling of greater certainty because of 
the formal steps taken in reaching it. 
There is an assurance in the choice made 
after due deliberation which makes the in- 
dividual feel satisfied with what he has 
chosen. However, a choice made without 
deliberation is frequently held to tenaciously 
even when assailed by later arguments 
against the wisdom of the choice. 

The science of chemistry has rendered a 
great service to the manufacturer of mate- 
rial things by showing him exactly all the 
elements included in the material with which 
he works. The manufacturer adopts his 
methods to utilize so far as possible all the 
elements indicated by the chemical analysis. 
When the chemist reports the essential con- 
stituents of cement in the slag secured from 
steel, the manufacturer is enabled to convert 
his dump heap into a valuable by-product. 

The science of psychology makes clear to 
the superintendent and to the salesman the 
factors involved in an act of deliberation. 
The salesman may make radical changes in 
his methods when he realizes that every act 
of deliberation includes a feeling of value 



AN ANALYSIS OF DELIBERATION 31 

which attaches itself to each of the possible 
choices of things or acts. The superintend- 
ent may decide to adopt some other method 
than argument when he appreciates the men- 
tal processes included in a normal reaction to 
arguments. Every man whose success de- 
pends upon the influencing of men may be 
benefited by utilizing the findings of science 
rather than by following the rule of thumb 
or the traditions of the house. 

The manager of a steel plant should know 
the chemical constituents of steel ore. The 
salesman or the superintendent who uses ar- 
guments should know what mental proc- 
esses are awakened in the minds of men by 
the presenting of arguments. By under- 
standing the workings of the minds of his 
men he should know (1) when it is wise to 
resort to arguments and (2) how to con- 
struct them to secure the maximum results. 
The answer to these two questions will be 
taken up in later chapters. 



CHAPTER III 
AN ANALYSIS OF SUGGESTION 

OUTLINE. 

Traditional and Modern Conception of Suggestion. 

I. The Working of Suggestion is Dependent upon the 

Impulsive, Dynamic Nature of Ideas. 
II. Suggestions are Given by External Objects (Usually 

Persons) and Result in Acts Similar to Imitative 

Acts. 

III. Suggestion Includes No Comparison or Criticism. 

IV. Suggestion Secures Immediate Response Without Any 
Delay. 

Illustration of Principles. 



CHAPTER III 

AN ANALYSIS OF SUGGESTION 

TRADITIONAL AND MODERN CONCEPTION OF 
SUGGESTION. 

WE have been taught by tradition that 
man is inherently logical, that he weighs evi- 
dence, formulates it into a syllogism and 
then reaches the conclusion on which he 
bases his action. The more modern concep- 
tion of man is that he is a creature who 
rarely reasons at all. Indeed, one of the 
greatest students of the human mind assures 
us that most persons never perform an act 
of pure reasoning, but that all their acts are 
the results of imitation, habit, suggestion or 
some related form of thinking which is dis- 
tinctly below that which could be called 
reasoning. Our most important acts are 
performed and our most sacred conceptions 
are reached by means of the merest sug- 
gestion. Great commanders of men are 

not those who are best skilled in reason- 
as 



* 36 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

ing with their subordinates. The greatest 
inspirers of men are not those who are most 
logical in presenting their truths to the mul- 
titude. Even our greatest debaters are not 
those who are most logical in presenting the 
arguments in favor of their contention. 

In moving and in inspiring men, sugges- 
tion is to be considered as in every way the 
equal of logical reasoning, and as such is to 
be made the subject of consideration for 
every man who is interested in influencing 
his fellows. While tradition regarded man 
as wholly logical, the modern conception, PS 
already intimated, makes him largely a crea- 
ture of suggestion. Nevertheless the whole 
subject of suggestion has been rendered 
ridiculous and its true value obscured by 
a group of men who with inadequate psy- 
chological learning, have been presenting 
suggestion as the open sesame to success in 
the business world. These teachers would 
lead the business man to assume that, by 
suggestion, an irresistible hypnotic spell 
could be utilized in business. In some in- 
stances correspondence courses in salesman- 
ship pretend, upon the payment of a sum 



AN ANALYSIS OF SUGGESTION 37 

of money, to teach any unsophisticated youth 
how to wield this mysterious and superhu- 
man power. 

Because of the surviving influence of the 
traditional view of man as essentially logical, 
and because of the recent silly exaggeration 
of the value of suggestion, the business man 
is inclined to look upon suggestion with little 
favor. 

The following analysis is an attempt to 
present suggestion without exaggeration 
and to analyze it in such a way that the 
business man can see its possibilities in con- 
nection with his special task of influencing 
men. 

I. THE WORKING OF SUGGESTION is DE- 
PENDENT UPON THE IlfrPULSIVE, DY- 
NAMIC NATURE OF IDEAS. 

In trying to imagine how our minds work 
in making decisions or reaching conclusions 
we are inclined to accept the traditional view 
and to think of ourselves as acting according 
to the rules of formal logic. We thus as- 
sume that we think out the reasons pro and 
con, that we arrange these reasons in a log- 



38 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

ical order, that we weigh the evidence and 
make our decision. We assume that after 
the conclusion has been reached or the action 
decided upon, we then, by a distinct effort 
of the will, initiate the action. We conceive 
of ideas as being nothing more than formal, 
inert reasons and we assume that to secure 
action we must add to our ideas the activity 
of the will. 

As a matter of fact this conception of 
ideas is wrong and leads to error when we 
try either to interpret or to influence human 
action. The modern scientific conception 
of psychology is that ideas are the most 
live things in the universe. They are dy- 
namic and naturally lead to action. This dy- 
namic, impulsive nature of ideas is expressed 
in the following law: 

Every idea of an action will result in that 
action unless hindered by an impeding idea, 
or physical impediment. 

It seems to be quite impossible for us to 
think of any particular action without at 
least to a limited degree making that action. 
The degree to which the idea of an act re- 
sults in that act depends upon the "anticipa- 



AN ANALYSIS OF SUGGESTION 39 

toriness" of the idea. As expressed in a 
recent treatise on psychology, this "anticipa- 
toriness includes the consciousness of real- 
ness, of futurity, and of the dependence of 
the future end on present volition." The 
idea of an act may possess this element of 
anticipatoriness in varying degrees, but or- 
dinarily it is present to a greater extent than 
we can perceive and hence the law as stated 
above may be received as the general expres- 
sion of a fundamental and universal truth. 
When I think of the letter "o" I find that 
there is a tension of the muscles of my 
lips. The same muscles are in action that 
would be used if I should pronounce the 
letter. If I think of the letter "q" there is 
a slight muscular activity at the base of my 
tongue. Modern psychology has invented 
ingenious devices for discovering these in- 
cipient movements and is enabled to find 
them where without some such devices they 
could not be discovered. The so-called 
mind reading is often nothing more than a 
clever observation and interpretation of 
these involuntary movements which accom- 
pany every idea of an act. 



40 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

The wise parent and teacher make con- 
stant use of the dynamic nature of ideas. 
The one who fails to regard this fact gets 
into trouble. The solicitous parent who 
upon leaving her children said, "Now, chil- 
dren, whatever you do don't put beans in 
your noses," should not have been sur- 
prised upon her return to find that the chil- 
dren's noses were all filled with beans. The 
idea, "beans in the nose," simply took pos- 
session of their minds and the dynamic force 
of the idea led to the activity. In control- 
ling children parents and teachers learn not 
to suggest the things which are to be 
avoided. The impulsive nature of the sug- 
gested ideas is too much for the children to 
resist. 

The dynamic nature of mind is further 
shown by the fact which is expressed in the 
following general law : 

Every idea, concept or conclusion which 
enters the mind is held as true unless hin- 
dered by some contradictory idea. 

The general and universal tendency is to 
accept as valid all ideas, and this result f ol- 



AN ANALYSIS OF SUGGESTION 41 

lows in every instance unless with the idea 
there arises an idea of its falsity. 

The significance of this fact of the dy- 
namic nature of thought and its application 
to business must be apparent to all. If we 
can give a man any sort of an idea it is not 
necessary to convince him of the truth of the 
idea if we can keep conflicting ideas from 
arising in his mind. If I can get you to 
read the sentence, "Morgan and Wright 
tires are good tires," you will believe that 
they are good tires and that too without any 
further proof if only contradictory ideas do 
not surge up into your mind. 

When a man is hypnotized and told that 
the world is to come to an end in thirty min- 
utes he believes it fully because contradic- 
tory ideas do not arise to inhibit the sug- 
gested idea of calamity. 

A crowd composed of intelligent citizens 
will accept as truth the most absurd utter- 
ances and applaud proposed plans which in- 
dividually each man might scorn in derision. 
As individuals we inhibit more actions than 
we perform. A feeling of responsibility 



42 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

and propriety restrains us individually in 
a way that is absent when we become ab- 
sorbed in a crowd. Whatever is done by 
other members of the crowd seems proper; 
also, because of the many involved, the feel- 
ing of responsibility is removed from each 
member. The crowd, being relieved from 
the restraints of propriety, of responsibility 
and of critical thinking is in a condition to 
exhibit the dynamic force of ideas in an ex- 
treme form. There is an alacrity of re- 
sponse, an immediate carrying out of every 
suggested action, which is not apparent in 
the action of single individuals. The indi- 
vidual is wholly absorbed in the crowd pur- 
pose and is completely devoted to that pur- 
pose, whether it be the lynching of a negro, 
the adoration of a hero, the winning of the 
game, or the capture of the Holy Sepulchre. 
In times of panics the idea gets abroad that 
property is depreciating in value. This 
idea is accepted by most persons without 
proof simply because the attendant condi- 
tions keep contradictory ideas from arising 
in the mind. Hypnosis and the crowd re- 



AN ANALYSIS OF SUGGESTION 43 

move the inhibitions and permit the dynamic 
nature of ideas to manifest itself. 

II. SUGGESTIONS ARE GIVEN BY EXTER- 
NAL OBJECTS (USUALLY PERSONS) 
AND RESULT IN ACTS SIMILAR TO 
IMITATIVE ACTS. 

Unfortunately the word imitation is ap- 
plied to two distinct classes of acts. If I 
come to the conclusion that a particular au- 
thor is using an excellent style, I may con- 
sciously and voluntarily attempt to imitate 
his style. This sort of imitation is known 
as voluntary imitation. There is another 
sort of imitation known as non-voluntary 
imitation. This is well illustrated by the 
tendency to imitate a sneeze or cough. If 
one member of a group sneezes others are 
likely to imitate the act although there is no 
conscious desire to do so. If I associate 
with persons having a peculiar intonation of 
voice I am likely to imitate their peculiari- 
ties even though such is not my desire. -This 
is the sort of imitative acts under consider- 
ation in this discussion. They are the sort 



44 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

of imitative acts which we do without real- 
izing it and which we certainly never volun- 
tarily perform and hence they are known as 
non-voluntary imitative acts. 

All acts resulting from suggestion are 
similar to these non- voluntary imitative 
acts. Indeed all non-voluntary imitation is 
the working of suggestion. Thus in a store 
I see a customer making a particular pur- 
chase and I receive the suggestion from this 
act and imitate it. I see a fellow workman 
increase his pace and although I have not 
intended to change my speed the chances are 
that the suggestion will lead to a non-volun- 
tary imitation. If I see others joyous or 
sad they give me the suggestion of joy or 
sorrow and I non-voluntarily imitate their 
moods. 

If all our suggestions, in so far as they 
result in actions, were received from per- 
sons we would discard the word sugges- 
tion as a useless term and employ only the 
term non-voluntary imitation. As a matter 
of fact we receive many suggestions from 
things as well as persons. As examples of 
suggestions received from things there 



AN ANALYSIS OF SUGGESTION 45 

might be mentioned such devices as money- 
envelopes, return coupons, etc. 

In carrying out all suggestions we feel 
much as we do when we imitate. We feel 
that we have not been forced, that we are 
doing just what we wish to do, that it is the 
only natural and rational thing to do under 
the circumstances. We deceive ourselves 
into thinking we are doing voluntarily that 
which we are doing from a mere suggestion. 

III. SUGGESTION INCLUDES No COMPAR- 
ISON OR CRITICISM. 

When in conversation with certain indi- 
viduals we discover that they are inclined 
to accept everything we say as true. They 
are willing at once to perform the proposed 
act, and they feel as we affirm, even though 
we state to them that they are sick when to 
all appearances they are well. Such indi- 
viduals are called highly suggestible because 
they are inclined to act upon suggestions 
more readily than most persons. 

There are other individuals who are in- 
clined to the opposite extreme. They ques- 



46 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

tion and criticise every statement we make. 
If we state that the atmosphere is bracing 
they reply that it seems to them to be very 
oppressing. If we state that they are look- 
ing much weakened, they assert that they 
never felt better in all their lives. If we 
propose a game of golf they are sure to have 
some reason for refusing the invitation. In- 
stead of omitting to compare and criticise, 
these poor unfortunates are in such a condi- 
tion that they seem to be compelled to criti- 
cise and reject everything proposed. Their 
degree of suggestibility has reached the zero 
point or perhaps they are in a condition that 
should properly be called one of contra- 
suggestibility. Abnormal suggestibility as 
well as the possession of any pronounced 
degree of contra-suggestibility renders the 
possessor unfit for business. 

In suggestion neither the opposite nor any 
possible alternative to the thing proposed 
enters the mind. All normal persons 
are suggestible under certain conditions 
and take the suggestions given if these 
are of the right sort and presented prop- 
erly. 



AN ANALYSIS or SUGGESTION 47 

IV. SUGGESTION SECURES IMMEDIATE RE- 
SPONSE WITHOUT ANY DELAY. 

In deliberation we must delay in order 
that sufficient time may intervene for pos- 
sible alternatives to arise in our minds for 
us to compare them, and to make a choice 
between them. Deliberation thus places the 
subject in a more or less critical attitude 
and unless the argument is conclusive, this 
attitude is likely to be retained and the pro- 
posed action permanently resisted. Delay 
is essential for weighing arguments but 
every moment of delay increases the prob- 
ability that no action will result. The in- 
herent weakness of deliberation is expressed 
in the familiar quotation, "He who hesitates 
is lost." 

In suggestion the proposed idea of an act 
is allowed to take its normal course, which, 
according to the impulsive nature of ideas, 
results in immediate action. The proposed 
act may be of such a nature that it can not 
be completed till some future time. Even 
in such instances the act is really begun at 
once even though it can not be completed 



48 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

till later. For example, if it is suggested 
to me that I secure a ticket when down town 
to-morrow, and if without any consideration 
I consent to do so, my consent is due to sug- 
gestion and the tickets probably will be pur- 
chased to-morrow. The consent follows the 
suggestion immediately and the tickets will 
be purchased at the appropriate time and 
that too without any deliberation at the later 
time of purchase. Of course something 
might happen in the meantime which would 
cause me to consider the advisability of the 
purchase and in such a case it would cease 
to be an act of suggestion. 

ILLUSTRATION or PRINCIPLES. 

The four principles revealed by the an- 
alysis of suggestion are best understood 
when applied to an extreme case, i. e., to the 
condition known as hypnosis. Common 
charcoal and cut diamonds are each equally 
good examples of carbon. In the same way 
the working of suggestion may be illustrated 
by profound hypnosis or by the effect of 
such common advertising as "Use Pears' 
Soap." 



AN ANALYSIS OF SUGGESTION 49 

In presenting the subject of suggestion to 
my classes in psychology I am accustomed 
to demonstrate its most extreme manifesta- 
tions. Three of the most highly suggesti- 
ble men students in the class are selected and 
seated in comfortable chairs in front of the 
class. Turning my attention to these three 
I get them to concentrate their minds upon 
the hypnotic condition as I depict it. After 
a few minutes I assert with a voice of assur- 
ance that their eyes are getting heavy, are 
heavy; are closing, are closed! If my re- 
marks have been effectively given the young 
men find that their eyes do just as I suggest. 
After securing the successful working of 
this suggestion upon their eyes, I follow 
rapidly with other suggestions of increasing 
difficulty. I assert that their right arms are 
stiff and can not be moved. They often 
attempt to show that their arms can be 
moved but usually their attempts are unsuc- 
cessful. I assert that their left arms are 
light, are rising up and moving in a cir- 
cle. This suggestion is usually successful. 
I suggest that the bottle which I hold to 
their noses contains a delightful perfume. 



50 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

Thereupon they enjoy the odor immensely 
even though the bottle contains asaf etida. 

It is evident that the four principles found 
in the analysis of ordinary suggestion char- 
acterize this extreme form of suggestion also. 

(1) The dynamic nature of thought was 
shown in that the idea conceived by the 
young men carried itself out even though it 
involved apparent absurdity. The idea, 
"my eyes are closed," made it impossible for 
these healthy young men to open their eyes. 

(2) That the suggested ideas are pre- 
sented by external objects or persons was 
illustrated by my giving all the suggestions 
to them. 

(3) The absence of comparison and crit- 
icism was capitally illustrated in that the 
young men enjoyed the odor because I told 
them they would, even though the odor of 
asaf etida is excessively nauseous. 

(4) That suggestion secures direct re- 
sponse without delay was illustrated by the 
alacrity with which all suggested ideas were 
held as true and all suggested actions were 
executed. 

No business man should ever have any- 



AN ANALYSIS or SUGGESTION 51 

thing to do with hypnosis. He should real- 
ize however that hypnosis is simply an ex- 
treme example of suggestion. In hypnosis 
he sees the extreme working of a method of 
influencing men which is available for him 
in less extreme forms. The value of the 
four principles revealed by our analysis of 
suggestion lies in the fact that they hold uni- 
versally and hence are applicable to every in- 
stance in which suggestion is used as a means 
of influencing men. Later chapters of this 
series will deal with the very practical prob- 
lems of (1) when the business man should 
use suggestion* and (2) how may sugges- 
tions be made effective? t 

* Chapter VI. 
t Chapter VIII. 



CHAPTER IV 

WHAT IS YOUR METHOD OF, 
DECIDING QUESTIONS AND 
REACHING CONCLUSIONS? 

OUTLINE. 

Do People Deliberate or Do They Act upon Suggestion 
in Reaching a Conclusion? 

Methods of Reaching a Decision: 

I. Logical Reasoning: Benjamin Franklin's Method. 
II. Reason Authority: Bismarck's Method. 

III. Reason Emotion: Woman's Method. 

IV. Reason Suggestion: Flipped-Coin Method. 
V. Suggestion: Unstable. 

Which of These Methods are Used Frequently and 
Which but Occasionally? 



CHAPTER IV 

WHAT IS YOUR METHOD OF 
DECIDING QUESTIONS AND 
REACHING CONCLUSIONS? 

Do PEOPLE DELIBERATE OR Do THEY ACT 
UPON SUGGESTION IN REACHING A CON- 
CLUSION? 

IN dealing with men we try to get them to 
accept certain conclusions, to select certain 
ends, or to act in particular ways. These 
results may be secured either by deliberation 
or by suggestion. The recognition of this 
fact immediately leads us to ask the follow- 
ing question, If conclusions may be reached, 
ends chosen and acts performed as the re- 
sult either of deliberation or of suggestion, 
then as a matter of fact how do people de- 
cide, do they deliberate or do they act upon 
suggestion? 

In the previous chapters we discussed typ- 
ical acts of deliberation and typical acts of 

55 



56 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

suggestion. As a matter of fact are these 
typical forms the usual forms of deciding? 
Are there some persons who habitually use 
the first of these methods and some the 
second? Or is it true that certain types of 
decisions are made by deliberation and others 
by suggestion? The answer to these ques- 
tions leads to a study of the different 
methods which are actually employed in solv- 
ing problems which arise from moment to 
moment and from year to year. 

METHODS or REACHING A DECISION: 
I. LOGICAL REASONING: BENJAMIN 
FRANKLIN'S METHOD. 

There is a type of deciding which corres- 
ponds perfectly to what was presented in the 
last chapter as a typical act of deliberation. 
We shall speak of it here as the Benjamin 
Franklin type. If you belong to this type 
and have a problem to solve (e. g., change 
in method of work, change of position, goods 
to be purchased, etc.), you solve it (a) by 
getting a clear idea of the alternatives, (b) 
by getting in mind complete data concerning 
the means necessary for securing the alter- 



REACHING CONCLUSIONS 57 

natives, (c) by awakening the appropriate 
"feeling value" with each alternative, (d) 
by comparing the different alternatives, and 
(e) by logically and coldly accepting that 
alternative which the comparison shows to 
be the most worthy. 

In applying this method we are often 
unable to reach a conclusion because of our 
inability to make exact comparisons and so 
are unable to decide which course of action is 
to be preferred. Benjamin Franklin used 
this method extensively and he has left us 
a description of the device he employed to 
reach the conclusion. The following is a 
quotation from a letter to a friend concern- 
ing a difficult problem: 

"In the affair of so much importance to 
you, wherein you ask my advice, I can not, 
for want of sufficient premises, counsel you 
what to determine ; but, if you please, I will 
tell you how. When those difficult cases oc- 
cur, they are difficult, chiefly because, while 
we have them under consideration, all the 
reasons pro and con are not present to the 
mind at the same time; but sometimes one 
set present themselves, and at other times 



58 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

another, the first being out of sight. Hence 
the various purposes or inclinations that al- 
ternately prevail, and the uncertainty that 
perplexes us. 

"To get over this, my way is to divide half 
a sheet of paper by a line into two columns; 
writing over the one pro and over the other 
con; then, during three or four days' consid- 
eration, I put down, under the different 
heads, short hints of the different mo- 
tives, that at different times occur to 
me for or against the measure. When 
I have thus got them all together in 
one view, I endeavor to estimate their 
respective weights; and when I find two 
(one on each side) that seem equal, 
I strike them both out. If I find a reason 
pro equal to two reasons con, I strike out the 
three. If I judge some two reasons con 
equal to three reasons pro, I strike out the 
five; and thus proceeding, I find where the 
balance lies; and if, after a day or two of 
further consideration, nothing new that is of 
importance occurs on either side I come to a 
determination accordingly. And though 
the weight of reason can not be taken with 



REACHING CONCLUSIONS 59 

the precision of algebraic quantities, yet, 
when each is thus considered separately and 
comparatively, and the whole lies before me, 
I think I can judge better, and am less liable 
to take a false step. And, in fact, I have 
found great advantage from this kind of 
equation, in what may be termed moral or 
prudential algebra." 

This method of Benjamin Franklin's is 
applicable to hesitation caused by consider- 
ing the consequences of acting or of not act- 
ing, as well as to hesitation caused by weigh- 
ing the respective advantages of several mu- 
tually exclusive actions. Although very 
few persons have ever employed the method 
in its entirety, as did Franklin, yet we all 
approximate the method in our deliberate ac- 
tions. Most of us never clearly define the 
different reasons for or against any action 
and we do not hold the different reasons be- 
fore us and compare them in a judicious 
manner. Ordinarily one reason for or 
against an action holds the attention and all 
other reasons are crowded out and serve to 
delay action but not to divert it. We are 
wise and judicious in proportion to our 



60 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

ability to compare motives and decide ac- 
cording to reason, but most of us are neither 
wise nor judicious. 

Doubtless you do not use this Benjamin 
Franklin method in the exact and formal 
manner as described by him. When you do 
use the method, you attempt to abbreviate 
it by referring the case to a general class and 
to one of the classes to which you have 
formed the habit of responding unhesita- 
tingly. If you are considering the proposi- 
tion of changing your method or speed of 
work, and, if you classify the act as one of 
"increased pay" you will decide in the affirm- 
ative; in the negative if you classify it as 
merely "an attempt of the boss to speed up 
his employees." If you are considering the 
offer to enter the employ of a larger firm 
you will accept it if you finally classify the 
proposed change as "greater possibilities"; 
you will reject it if you classify it as "loss of 
independence." The salesman will sell you 
the goods if he can get you to classify them 
as "good investments," he will fail if you 
classify them as "speculations." 

In deciding according to this Benjamin 



REACHING CONCLUSIONS 61 

Franklin type, whether the process is car- 
ried on slowly and formally as advised by 
Franklin or whether it is shortened by refer- 
ring it to a class with its stereotyped form 
of response, there is in either case (a) a 
deliberation involving comparison, and (b) 
a decision free from effort as soon as the evi- 
dence is all in and the case definitely classi- 
fied, 

METHODS OF REACHING A DECISION : 
II. REASON AUTHORITY : BISMARCK'S 
METHOD. 

There is a second method of deciding 
which is much like logical reasoning but 
differs from it in one very essential feature. 
In this second type after the evidence is all 
in there seems to be no balance in favor of 
either alternative, so the question is decided 
after the deliberation has been exhausted. 
The decision is finally made by an effort of 
will. 

The struggle may be severe, but in any 
case the deliberation is brought to a close 
and the question settled by a determined, "I 
will!" The reason alone seems inadequate 



62 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

to meet the case, so the authority of the in- 
dividual is needed to supplant the reason. 
This type is therefore properly called the 
reason-authority type of decision, or the Bis- 
marck type, if named after the one who is 
reputed to have surpassed others in deciding 
in this way. 

In deciding according to the Franklin 
method the vanquished alternative drops out 
of mind and is not attended to at the crucial 
moment of decision. In the Bismarck 
method both alternatives are kept in mind 
and by an act of will the one is vanquished 
and the ' other selected. In making the 
choice the subject is aware of what he is los- 
ing and so must struggle to give it up. 

If you decide problems according to the 
Bismarck method then at the moment of de- 
cision you will have in mind both the profits 
to be gained by a change of method of work 
and also the sacrifice of ease necessary to 
make the change. The evidence is not clear 
as to what is the right course to pursue and 
only by a determined, "I will!" can you set- 
tle it. If you settle the same question by 
the Franklin method, then at the moment of 



REACHING CONCLUSIONS 63 

decision one alternative has already been 
eliminated and the victorious one holds your 
undivided attention. In the Bismarck de- 
cision one alternative never succeeds in se- 
curing exclusive attention. 

If the salesman has been unable to banish 
competing lines from your mind so that with 
other goods as well as his in mind you are 
compelled to make the effort to decide which 
you will choose, you decide according to the 
method of Bismarck. If he has succeeded 
in banishing all competing lines from your 
mind and has enabled you to make your de- 
cision without effort, then he has enabled 
you to decide according to the method of 
Franklin. As a matter of fact most per- 
sons use the Bismarck type of deciding 
rarely. We usually think of the person 
with a strong will as making frequent use 
of the Bismarck method. However, the 
man who is able to utilize the Franklin 
method is to be credited with an equally 
strong will. The man deciding according to 
Franklin's method shows his strength of will 
by his mastery in weighing evidence and 
classifying the cases that arise for solution. 



64 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

The man deciding according to the Bismarck 
method shows his strength of will by de- 
ciding without delay. Franklin's method is 
in general the more desirable form of 
strength of will but in a crisis Bismarck's 
type of strength of will is necessary for 
heroic action. 

METHODS OF REACHING A DECISION : 

III. REASON EMOTION : WOMAN'S 
METHOD. 

The woman's method of decision differs 
materially from the two preceding types. 
In this third type insufficient time is given 
to the deliberation, or difficulty is found in 
classifying the problem. The deliberation 
is interrupted by a sudden extreme feeling 
of value attaching itself to one or the other 
of the contemplated alternatives. The feel- 
ings rush in and take the place of reason. 
In deciding by the woman's method we are 
scarcely able to see how we reached our con- 
clusion and we often speak of such deci- 
sions as being intuitive. We simply feel that 
we should decide in a certain way and for- 



REACHING CONCLUSIONS 65 

tunately the feelings are frequently right. 
Women are supposed to decide in this way 
more often than men. They are supposed 
to have more perfectly developed instincts 
or intuitions. Their sentiment vanquishes 
attempts to utilize sophisticated reasoning 
and the outcome is frequently wise and in 
every way as worthy of respect as are the 
results of more complete forms of delibera- 
tion. 

A single illustration will make clear this 
method of deciding. If you are contem- 
plating a change in method or speed of 
work, and are considering the alternatives, 
you decide according to the woman's method 
if a sudden rush of feeling or rise of senti- 
ment towards one of the alternatives cuts 
short your deliberation and settles it for you 
even though the evidence is not yet all in 
and though the "I will!" has not been re- 
sorted to. 

This method is not at all confined to 
women but is a very common method of 
deciding any question in which feelings and 
emotions are prominent. 



66 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

METHODS OF REACHING A DECISION : 
IV. REASON SUGGESTION: FLIPPED- 
COIN METHOD. 

The flipped-coin method of deciding is 
like the woman's method in that in each the 
deliberation is suddenly cut short and a defi- 
nite conclusion reached. The flipped-coin 
method differs from the woman's method, 
however, in that the factor which brings 
the deliberation to an end in the woman's 
method is an internal stimulus a surg- 
ing up of feeling; the factor which stops 
the deliberation in the flipped-coin method is 
an external stimulus accidentally arising at 
the critical moment. 

If I am debating whether I shall continue 
my work or go to the ball game, I may feel 
that either course is not far wrong and yet I 
may be unable to decide which to pursue. 
In such a dilemma I sometimes flip a coin 
and let the chance falling of the coin settle 
the matter for me. This device for settling 
problems is typical and is intended to sym- 
bolize numerous decisions in which we per- 
mit some external happening to take the 



REACHING CONCLUSIONS 67 

place of further deliberation. When our 
attempts to deliberate have been futile we 
sometimes "wait for the question to settle 
itself." This may mean that we abandon 
all hope of settling the question; it may 
mean that we are waiting for further evi- 
dence ; but it frequently means that we have 
merely ceased to deliberate and are waiting 
for a successful suggestion. 

If you are debating as to whether you shall 
change your place of employment, and if 
you are having difficulty to decide, you may 
suddenly stop your deliberation and imitate 
the action of a fellow employee who has 
succeeded in solving the same problem for 
himself . The fact that you had attempted 
to decide the problem by deliberation and 
had failed puts you in a position where a 
chance suggestion acts most powerfully. 
Reason thus gives way to suggestion, 
whether the suggestion be given by such a 
method as flipping the coin, the example of 
a companion, or by some more worthy ex- 
ternal cue to action. 

This flipped-coin method is frequently 
employed in purchasing goods. If you are 



68 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

deliberating concerning the purchase of a 
fountain pen and the relative merits of the 
diff erent makes have not enabled you to de- 
cide according to logical processes as to 
which one to purchase, the sight of an adver- 
tisement of one of the makes may settle the 
question for you. If you are passing a 
stationer's store and see one of the makes in 
the window, the sight of the pen may be a 
sufficient suggestion to end the deliberation 
and to secure the purchase of the pen. 

The genial companion, the hail-fellow- 
well-met, uses this method of decision very 
extensively. Most of the things we do are 
not done for sufficient logical reasons. The 
man who refuses to give heed to the sug- 
gestions of his fellows and to determine his 
actions accordingly is not a pleasant person 
to be with. Where logical reasons are ade- 
quate they should be followed. An attempt 
to consider, to deliberate should be as uni- 
versal as possible. But since most ques- 
tions do not admit of logical determination, 
much opportunity is left for suggestion as 
supplementary to reason. This form of de- 
termination is perhaps more common in the 



REACHING CONCLUSIONS 69 

business world than any of the types pre- 
viously discussed. We start to reason but 
end with suggestion. 

METHODS OF REACHING A DECISION : 
V. SUGGESTION : UNSTABLE. 

The method of deciding which involves 
no deliberation whatever is called sugges- 
tion. The thing is accepted at once and 
acted upon without any hesitation and hence 
without any possibility or tendency to delib- 
erate. 

If I propose to you that you change your 
method of work either as to quality or 
quantity and if you accept the proposed 
change without weighing the merits of the 
case and without considering the rejection 
of the proposal, then you decide in a way 
that is properly designated as the working of 
suggestion. If I propose that you "quit 
slaving for your old boss" and "get into the 
band wagon and join forces with me," your 
acceptance is the result of suggestion un- 
less you consider the advantages of remain- 
ing in your former position and con- 
sider also the disadvantages of entering 



70 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

my employ. If I offer you my line of 
merchandise in such a way that my 
method of offering it or my "personal mag- 
netism" are sufficient to cause you to buy 
without consideration, you then act upon 
suggestion. If the assertion in my adver- 
tisement, "Morgan and Wright tires are 
good tires," unsupported by any form of 
argumentation, should convince you that my 
tires are good tires, then your conclusion 
would be wholly due to my suggestion. 

WHICH OF THESE METHODS ARE USED FRE- 
QUENTLY AND WHICH BUT OCCASION- 
ALLY? 

When we study the classifications of 
methods of deciding we see that the various 
classes differ first as to the prominence of 
deliberation, and second as to the manner in 
which the deliberation is completed or 
avoided. In Franklin's method the deliber- 
ation is fully developed; with each succeed- 
ing class this deliberation grows less till in 
the last class it is wholly absent. In the 
Benjamin Franklin method the delibera- 
tion is brought to an end by balancing the 



REACHING CONCLUSIONS 71 

books; in the Bismarck method by a tug of 
the will; in the woman's method by a sud- 
den awakening of the feelings and emotions ; 
in the flipped-coin method by a chance sug- 
gestion, and in pure suggestion deliberation 
is avoided altogether because of the extreme 
working of the suggested conclusion, end or 
activity. 

Every que'stion you decide is settled ac- 
cording to one of the methods here consid- 
ered. It becomes a matter of interest and 
importance to know which of these methods 
are used frequently and which ones but oc- 
casionally. 

Formerly it was supposed that man was 
primarily a reasoning creature and that he 
decided practically all questions according 
to either the Franklin or the Bismarck 
method. Suggestion was relegated to ab- 
normal psychology and supposed to be char- 
acteristic of children and hysterical adults. 
A more careful study of the methods used 
in everyday experiences has brought out 
the fact that Franklin's method and the Bis- 
marck method are not common methods in 
the usual experiences of life in the home, on 



72 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

the street or in the business and industrial 
world. More common than either of these 
two are the methods of deciding in which 
deliberation is curtailed by some other 
shorter and simpler method of reaching a 
conclusion. 

A study of the methods which we all use 
in deciding leads inevitably to the conclu- 
sion that some problems are solved one way 
and some another. There is perhaps no 
normal adult who does not employ at least 
occasionally each of the methods described 
above. Under certain conditions we use one 
method and under different conditions we 
use others. We vary from day to day and 
from moment to moment in our susceptibil- 
ity to argumentation and to suggestion. In 
deciding certain classes of questions we do 
not feel satisfied till we have deliberated; in 
other instances we feel no such need for de- 
liberation but respond with alacrity to ap- 
propriate suggestions ; persons and classes of 
society differ also in the extent to which 
they use the different methods of deciding 
questions. 



CHAPTER V 

WHEN TO USE ARGUMENTS 
AND WHEN SUGGESTIONS IN 
INFLUENCING MEN 

OUTLINE. 

Both Argument and Suggestion are Effective in Influ- 
encing Men. 

I. Argument Preferred in Exploiting Any New Thing: 

Educational Campaign. 

II. Argument Preferred in Exploiting Anything Having 
Unusual Talking Points. 

III. Argument Preferred when It is the Exclusive Form 

of Persuasion. 

IV. Argument is Necessary in Influencing Professional 

Buyers. 
V. Argument Sometimes an Effective Form of Flattery. 



CHAPTER V 

WHEN TO USE ARGUMENTS AND 
WHEN SUGGESTIONS IN IN- 
FLUENCING MEN. 

BOTH ARGUMENT AND SUGGESTION ARE EF- 
FECTIVE IN INFLUENCING MEN. 

THE four preceding chapters have made it 
evident that both argument and suggestion 
are to be used in influencing men. Under 
some conditions men cannot be influenced ex- 
cept by arguments; under other conditions 
arguments are less potent than suggestions. 
Some men are especially susceptible to one 
of the forms ; certain classes of decisions may 
be secured by one of the methods of decid- 
ing more readily than by another. Fur- 
thermore some men are naturally experts 
in presenting arguments while others are 
most successful when avoiding arguments 
and depending upon suggestions. 

With our present incomplete knowledge 
of business psychology it is impossible to 

75 



76 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

define all the conditions under which the 
business man should make use of argument 
or suggestion. However, enough has been 
ascertained to provide the business man with 
a fairly satisfactory chart for his guidance. 
In the following discussion special atten- 
tion will be given to advertising because our 
psychological knowledge of that branch of 
business is well advanced, because advertis- 
ing is a good typical form of business and 
because it has a definiteness and concreteness 
about it that makes it good as an illustra- 
tion. Each business man should be able to 
make the applications to his own business, 
for men are largely the same in all forms 
of business and industry. 

I. ARGUMENT PREFERRED IN EXPLOITING 
ANY NEW THING: EDUCATIONAL 
CAMPAIGN. 

That argument is needed in exploiting 
new goods is a statement that holds true of 
all merchandise whether a new class of goods 
or merely a new brand of an old class. 

I secured a phonograph and records for 
the language phone method of teaching a 



WHEN TO USE ARGUMENTS 77 

foreign language because of argument. 
Until I had considered these arguments the 
suggestion that I should secure the equip- 
ment would have had no effect upon me. 
In selling similar novel devices some sort of 
a protracted educational campaign is ordi- 
narily a prerequisite. The typewriter which 
I purchased was a make new to me and I 
would not have been influenced by sugges- 
tion to make such a purchase, but I did yield 
to what seemed to me at the time sufficient 
reason for my action. 

In exploiting a new brand or a new make 
of a well-known article, the arguments 
should be devoted to presenting the new fea- 
tures even when the article as a whole may 
best be sold by suggestion. Thus when a 
new type of piano player is put on the mar- 
ket and one which increases the orchestral 
effect of the piano, this fact should be pre- 
sented in the form of an argument for the 
purchase of this particular player. The 
public should be persuaded by arguments to 
select this particular make, if they purchase 
at all, and then the suggestions to purchase 
may be effective. 



78 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

Argumentation is the only effective 
method of inducing men to perform impor- 
tant, new, and unfamiliar acts. I would 
spend a nickel upon the merest suggestion 
that I should do so. I would not spend a 
thousand dollars upon suggestion but only 
as the result of deliberation following the 
presentation of arguments. In inducing 
people to spend money, arguments are es- 
sential if the amount of the purchase is any 
appreciable proportion of their total capital. 
In inducing people to purchase, the power 
of suggestion decreases directly with the 
increase of the proportion of the cost of the 
article to their total wealth. The working 
of suggestion is then not dependent directly 
upon the size of the purchase but upon the 
proportion of the cost to the total wealth. 
It may mean as much for me to purchase a 
current magazine as for a capitalist to pur- 
chase a block of new stock. In such an in- 
stance suggestion might be equally effective 
in inducing me to purchase the magazine 
and the capitalist to purchase the stock. 

Arguments are necessary in persuading 
men to change their customs and habits. 



WHEN TO USE ARGUMENTS 79 

The introduction of the piece rate system 
into a community accustomed to fixed wages 
demands arguments. To induce men to en- 
ter unknown fields of activity demands an 
educational campaign based on arguments. 

II. ARGUMENT PREFERRED IN EXPLOIT- 
ING ANYTHING HAVING UNUSUAL 
TALKING POINTS. 

Occasionally staples or specialties which 
have altogether unusual talking points are 
placed on the market. In some instances 
the price is actually lower than that of com- 
peting goods. Thus some of the newer 
brands of sewing machines which sell for $40 
are fully equal to the Singer Sewing ma- 
chine which is sold for $60. Some of the 
newer makes of automobiles are fully equal 
to the older makes which sell for several 
hundred dollars more per car. 

Goods are sometimes placed on the mar- 
ket which are clearly superior to all compet- 
ing goods and yet cost no more or but little 
more. When the Domino Lump Sugar was 
first put on the market it was cleaner, more 
convenient and more attractive than any 



80 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

other sugar on the market. The Domino 
Crystal Salt was at one time the only 
salt on the market which did not cake and 
which ran freely from the container. The 
Gillette safety razor had very decided 
points of superiority over any of its original 
competitors. 

When goods have such talking points on 
price or quality as those here cited they 
should be used as the basis for arguments 
for the purchase of the goods. These par- 
ticular strong points should be emphasized 
and so presented to the possible customers 
that they would be influenced to compare 
these goods with the competing lines. The 
customers should be led to use logical reason- 
ing, for if they do the result of their delib- 
eration will be a definite balancing of ac- 
counts in favor of the goods with the un- 
usual arguments. What is said of selling 
goods may be said of all attempts to influ- 
ence men. If there are altogether unusual 
and convincing arguments available they 
should be utilized as far as possible. If an 
attempt is being made to induce workmen to 
change from fixed salaries to the piece rate 



WHEN TO USE ARGUMENTS 81 

system and also to increase their output very 
materially, the men should be shown by clear 
and convincing arguments that their wages 
would be permanently increased by the pro- 
posed change. 

III. ARGUMENT PREFERRED WHEN IT is 
THE EXCLUSIVE FORM OF PERSUA- 
SION. 

Possible customers are subjected ordi- 
narily to more influences than that of adver- 
tising. They see others purchasing the 
goods or hear of their friends purchasing 
them, and are thus subjected to the influ- 
ence of imitation. The salesman attempts 
to sell them the advertised goods and so 
brings his personal influence to bear upon 
them. They inspect the goods and so sup- 
plement the words of the advertisements 
with observation. They may have had other 
and favorable experiences with the goods or 
the house and so in one way or another they 
are predisposed to do that which the adver- 
tising attempts to induce them to do. With 
customers thus predisposed to purchase, 
suggestion may be sufficient, but where some 



82 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

influence other than advertising is not ex- 
erted and where the customers are not pre- 
disposed to make the purchase, there is need 
of "reason-why" copy, of "data-built" copy. 
Facts, data, reasons must be presented in 
sufficient abundance to enable the uninter- 
ested possible customer to overcome his in- 
difference and to see why it is to his interest 
to purchase the goods. 

Occasionally advertising is the exclusive 
selling plan. This is frequently the exclu- 
sive method employed by mail-order houses. 
In such instances it is wise to present argu- 
ments pretty fully so that the readers may 
have adequate data for accepting or reject- 
ing the goods. The advertisement may well 
be of the sort spoken of as "reason-why 
copy," "data-built copy," etc. 

IV. ARGUMENT is NECESSARY IN INFLU- 
ENCING PROFESSIONAL BUYERS. 

In selling to professional buyers mere 
suggestion is not sufficient. Suggestion has 
its place here but there is absolute necessity 
for "reasons why." The merchandise must 
be shown to meet the demands especially 



WHEN TO USE ARGUMENTS 83 

sought in such goods. The professional 
buyer habitually analyzes and compares, 
at least more than ordinary purchasers. 
The goods offered do not stand out in 
his mind as unrelated things but they 
are seen in relation to other goods of 
the same class. The professional buyer 
does not purchase merchandise because it 
is good but because it is better. In order 
that he may be assisted to formulate this 
judgment of better the merchant must fur- 
nish him with adequate data. 

What has been said of methods of selling 
to professional buyers may be applied di- 
rectly to methods of selling strictly scientific 
goods. 

V. ARGUMENT SOMETIMES AN EFFECTIVE 
FORM OF FLATTERY. 

Argumentation is often advisable because 
people like to assume that they are follow- 
ing their reason. The arguments in favor 
of an automobile may not be comprehended 
and yet after reading the arguments the 
reader may decide to purchase the particular 
make because he assumes that the arguments 



84 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

would convince him if he could understand 
them. In advertisements of grape nuts the 
statement, "there's a reason," has weight 
even though the reader has no idea as to 
what the reason is to which reference seems 
to be made. We often demand that ap- 
peals should be made to the reason and until 
such an appeal has been made we are un- 
willing to decide. We are flattered by at- 
tempts to convince us with reasons and so the 
''reason-why" copy is more successful in ad- 
vertising than one might anticipate even in 
instances where decisions are not the result 
of deliberation. The mere presence of argu- 
ments may often allay suspicion, though not 
an argument is read. Even where the ar- 
guments are read, their significance may not 
be appreciated in the least and yet the 
reader may be so flattered by the presence 
of the arguments that they are as effective 
in securing a decision as they would be if 
the arguments were fully understood. 



CHAPTER VI 

WHEN TO USE ARGUMENTS AND 
WHEN SUGGESTIONS IN IN- 
FLUENCING MEN. (Continued.) 

OUTLINE 

I. Suggestion Preferred when Inadequate Time is Given 

for Arguments. 

II. Suggestion Preferred in Securing Action Following 
Conviction. 

III. Suggestion Preferred as a Supplementary Method of 

Convincing. 

IV. Suggestion Preferred in Dealing with the General 

Public. 

V. Suggestion Preferred for Securing Immediate Action. 
Argument or Suggestion: Re"sume\ 



CHAPTER VI 

WHEN TO USE ARGUMENTS AND 
WHEN SUGGESTIONS IN IN- 
FLUENCING MEN. (Continued.) 

I. SUGGESTION PREFERRED WHEN INADE- 
QUATE TIME is GIVEN FOR ARGU- 
MENTS. 

AN argument cannot be presented in as 
brief a form as a suggestion. If people 
would stop to read the arguments appearing 
in advertisements, then doubtless all adver- 
tisers would make extensive appeals to the 
reason. By careful investigation it has been 
determined that but few people spend much 
time in reading advertisements. It has been 
estimated that the average reader does not 
spend more than ten minutes in reading the 
advertisements appearing in a single issue 
of a monthly magazine, a daily or a weekly 
paper. That is to say, the reader of a mag- 
azine glances through one hundred pages of 
advertisements in less than ten minutes. 
Advertisements in daily papers are read 

87 



88 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

equally fast. A common practice is to turn 
over all the pages, to glance at all the ad- 
vertisements, excepting the smallest ones, 
but to read few or none of them. For this 
great class of potential buyers arguments 
are usually lost. If a single suggestion is 
given by means of a picture or of display 
type, the advertisement may be effective 
with thousands of persons who would not 
take the time or the trouble to read the 
arguments. 

The question concerning the relative mer- 
its of arguments and suggestions in adver- 
tisements is not whether people are affected 
more by the reading of arguments than by 
the reading of the suggestions. The ques- 
tion is whether the argument or the sugges- 
tion is the more effective method of appeal- 
ing to the average man who reads all sorts 
of publications, who rides on street cars and 
passes by the bill boards. The probable 
answer is that most people are affected more 
by suggestions in advertisements than by 
argumentations simply because they will not 
take time to read the arguments to the same 
extent that they do take time to read the 



WHEN TO USE SUGGESTIONS 89 

suggestions. The long argument is read by 
a few and these few are much impressed; 
the short argument is read by many and 
they are all a little affected. Other things 
being equal, the number of persons who will 
read an advertisement decreases directly as 
the size of the copy increases. The effect 
produced by the reading of the advertise- 
ment increases directly -as the size of the 
copy. 



II. SUGGESTION PREFERRED IN SECURING 
ACTION FOLLOWING CONVICTION. 

In advertising goods thoroughly known 
argument is often superfluous and mere sug- 
gestion is adequate. Most magazine read- 
ers are convinced that Ivory Soap is a good 
soap. All that is left for the manufacturer 
to do is to give the suggestion which will 
lead to the purchase. If it is deemed wise 
to convince the public that the familiar goods 
possess a particularly desirable quality this 
may often be accomplished by suggestion 
instead of by argumentation, provided the 
goods are already well established in the 



90 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

confidence of the people. A familiar ex- 
ample is that of the attempt to convince the 
public that Ivory Soap is particularly pure 
and delicate. This suggestion of purity and 
delicacy is given by means of artistic pic- 
tures showing cultivated people using the 
soap and using it for delicate work. The 
suggestion is also given by means of the 
repetition of the phrase, 99 44-100 pure. 
General readers are affected by this sugges- 
tion, and have come to the conclusion that 
Ivory Soap is particularly pure even though 
they are quite unable to cite a single reason 
for such a conclusion. 

In our task of persuading men, perhaps 
in most instances, we attempt to get them 
to do what they already know they should 
do. The superintendent does not have to 
convince his men that they should render 
better service. The function of the super- 
intendent is rather to get men to do what 
they already know they should do and what 
in fact they themselves desire to do. The 
right suggestion helps the men and encour- 
ages them to do what without suggestion 
is impossible for them. The suggestion 



WHEN TO USE SUGGESTIONS 91 

to the desired action needs to be fre- 
quently repeated that it may be constantly 
in mind. This repeating of the same sug- 
gestion over and over again has a cumu- 
lative effect which is greater than could be 
secured by lengthy or by diverse arguments. 

III. SUGGESTION PREFERRED AS A SUPPLE- 
MENTARY METHOD OF CONVINC- 
ING. 

Much advertising is intended not to sell 
goods but to supplement other selling 
methods. This is true not only of street car 
and poster advertising but also of much ad- 
vertising waged 'in magazines and newspa- 
pers. The supplementary nature of adver- 
tising is particularly apparent in advertising 
such things as automobiles, typewriters, dic- 
tographs and in all forms of insurance and 
financial advertising. The function of theN 
advertisement in such instances is to get the 
potential purchaser in a favorable attitude 
toward the commodity and then the consum- 
mation of the sale is left to the salesman, 
booklet or catalogue, or to some other per^/ 
son or selling device. This supplementary 



92 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

advertising may sometimes use arguments, 
but its chief dependence is upon suggestion. 

Street car and out-door advertising is in 
the main only supplementary and hence sug- 
gestion is extensively used, while logical ar- 
guments play a less important part. In ad- 
vertising goods which are to be purchased 
at a later time and only after inspection it 
is not necessary to convince the customer by 
reasons presented in the advertisement but 
to suggest some single fact which may be 
sufficiently compelling to cause him to in- 
spect the goods. In this way the supple- 
mentary advertising greatly simplifies the 
task of the clerk, the drummer or the selling 
plan whatever it be. 

In persuading men, logical reasoning is 
practically never to be used alone. After 
the arguments have been presented, skillful 
suggestions should be used as a supplement. 
This supplement often changes threatened 
defeat into success. The skillful pleader be- 
fore a jury, the wise politician and the suc- 
cessful superintendent of men all alike are 
compelled to resort to suggestion to sup- 
plement their arguments in their attempts 
to influence men. 



WHEN TO USE SUGGESTIONS 93 

IV. SUGGESTION PREFERRED IN DEALING 
WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. 

If we should divide all customers into 
the two classes, professional buyers and the 
general public, then in appealing to this lat- 
ter class special attention should be given 
to suggestion. In an advertisement con- 
taining both a good suggestion and a good 
argument, the suggestion is read often and 
the argument rarely. From infancy we 
have been accustomed to respond to sugges- 
tions so frequently that we follow this habit 
in purchasing merchandise even though we 
ought to make such purchases only after 
due deliberation. Deliberation is a process 
of thought which is very elaborate and very 
exhausting. The general purchaser the 
housewife does not ordinarily rise to such 
an undertaking but contents herself with a 
process very closely approximating the 
working of pure suggestion. Even though 
she begins to deliberate, the process is likely 
to be cut short by the effect of a clever sug- 
gestion. A suggestive picture means more 
to her than any possible massing of facts and 
figures. Such a suggestive phrase as "Spot- 



94 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

less Town" when associated in her mind 
with Sapolio becomes more effective in sell- 
ing her a washing compound than any state- 
ment concerning its chemical purity. The 
suggestive force of imitation is with her so 
powerful that she follows the actions of oth- 
ers with more confidence than the findings 
of her own deliberations. 



V. SUGGESTION PREFERRED FOR SECURING 
IMMEDIATE ACTION. 

President Hadley of Yale recently deliv- 
ered an address in the Auditorium at Chi- 
cago. At the time he was suffering from a 
very severe cold. In the midst of his re- 
marks he stopped, remarked that he was a 
victim of a cold and cleared his throat. Im- 
mediately not less than a hundred persons in 
the audience began to clear their throats and 
to cough till it was difficult to hear him 
speak for some minutes. Not long ago I 
was in a company where a man in a conspic- 
uous position yawned. Immediately a score 
of persons were affected by the suggestion 
and unconsciously imitated his action. The 



WHEN TO USE SUGGESTIONS 95 

peculiarity of suggested action is that the 
action follows at once upon the giving of the 
suggestion. The result of presenting argu- 
ments is deliberation with its attendant hesi- 
tation. 

Where any sort of an educational cam- 
paign is to be waged preceding the desired 
action, arguments are desirable. When im- 
mediate action is sought and no attempt is 
being made to educate, suggestion is pre- 
ferred. In creating sentiment in favor of 
a magazine, data must be presented concern- 
ing the virtues of the magazine. When the 
magazine is out and on the news stands and 
the purpose of the advertisement is to secure 
immediate purchase, then suggestion is su- 
perior to argument. The greatest sugges- 
tion in securing immediate sales of a mag- 
azine by means of advertising is reputed 
to have been the advertising done by the De- 
lineator when they forced us to purchase by 
the use of suggestion, "Just get the Delin- 
eator!" 

ARGUMENT OR SUGGESTION: RESUME. 
To influence men effectively is no simple 



96 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

task. Some men seem naturally gifted with 
this power and are able to accomplish as 
much intuitively as are other men after much 
study devoted to the subject. The men with 
such talents as well as those less generously 
endowed may increase their skill in influenc- 
ing men by proceeding scientifically at their 
task. The two methods available for influ- 
encing men are those of argument and sug- 
gestion. Which general type to employ is 
a problem that can not be easily solved. In 
attempting to secure light upon the subject 
and to choose wisely between argument and 
suggestion the business man can not safely 
follow the advice of his chance counselor 
nor may he follow precedents, for there is 
no uniformity among counselors nor among 
successful precedents. 

If the business man is an advertiser and 
is considering methods of influencing the 
public he can decide wisely only after a 
careful analysis of the problem confronting 
him, both because of the nature of his goods 
and because of the nature of the responses 
that may be secured from his possible cus- 
tomers. If his goods are new, an educa- 



WHEN TO USE SUGGESTIONS 97 

tional campaign must be waged in which log- 
ical arguments have a prominent place. If 
his goods have unusual talking points, these 
should be presented. If he depends upon 
advertising exclusively, he must then supply 
his customers with adequate data for pur- 
chasing the goods. If he is selling mainly 
to professional buyers, arguments are essen- 
tial. If his possible customers may be in- 
duced to glance at his advertisement but 
may not be induced to read arguments, then 
arguments should in the main be eliminated 
and suggestions made effective. If his 
goods are thoroughly known to the custom- 
ers a mere suggestion may be more effective 
than any possible argument. If the ad- 
vertisements are depended upon not to sell 
the goods but merely to familiarize the pub- 
lic with the goods or to make them favorably 
disposed towards the goods, then suggestion 
is all the case demands. The general public 
responds more readily to suggestions than 
to arguments, hence in dealing with this 
large group it is usually wise to construct 
the copy according to this habitual method 
of response of the general public. Imme- 



98 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

diate action is more often secured by sug- 
gestion than by argument. 

Whatever the end sought through per- 
suasion the problem is similar to the prob- 
lem of selling goods by means of printed 
forms of advertising and the solution of the 
problem is equally complex and equally im- 
portant in every line of business. 

After the business man has analyzed 
methods of persuading men and after he 
has decided to employ either argument or 
suggestion, then a further problem awaits 
him, How shall he construct his arguments 
or his suggestions so they will secure the 
maximum results? The next two chapters 
will deal with these further problems. 



CHAPTER VII 

MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECT- 
IVE 

OUTLINE. 

I. The Requisites of Completed Deliberation. 
II. Creating an Adequate Idea of What is Offered. 

III. Creating an Idea of Value. 

IV. A Classification of Conceptions which Led to Pur- 

chases. 

V. The How Supplements the WHY in an Argument. 
VI. The Place of Feeling and Sentiment in an Argument. 
VII. Weighing the Evidence. 
VIII. Concluding the Argument. 



CHAPTER VII 

MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECT- 
IVE 

I. THE REQUISITES OF COMPLETED DE- 
LIBERATION. 

As was shown in a previous chapter (Chap- 
ter II, An Analysis of Deliberation), we 
present arguments in order that we may 
make people deliberate. That their deliber- 
ation may be complete they must do five 
things : 

(1) They must have an adequate idea of 
the thing which we are attempting to per- 
suade them to choose or to do. 

(2) They must have a clear idea of just 
what they must do to choose the thing pro- 
posed. 

(3) They must be led to attach value to 
our offer. 

(4) They must consciously weigh the 

evidence which we have presented in com- 
101 



102 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

parison with reasons for selecting other 
things or of not acting at all. 

(5) And finally they must be led to 
make the choice or to perform the act which 
we are advocating. 

The strength of an argument depends 
upon the success it has in causing persons to 
perform these five essential steps in a typi- 
cal act of deliberation. 

II. CREATING AN ADEQUATE IDEA OF 
WHAT is OFFERED. 

An argument must give data concerning 
the thing proposed. The skill is not so 
much in giving much data as in giving the 
most effective data. The real essential na- 
ture of most things does not consist in the 
material substances which compose them but 
in the relationships and functions which they 
sustain. Water is not adequately described 
by stating that it is composed of two parts 
of hydrogen to one of oxygen. The im- 
portant thing about water is the uses which 
may be made of it. No one is able to give 
an exhaustive description of anything. The 
relationships which even a simple thing sus- 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 103 

tains are innumerable. A bar of soap may 
be completely described so far as its chemi- 
cal constituents are concerned but no ex- 
ploiter of soap has been able to tell us all 
that might be said about his soap. There is 
no end to the possible uses, the possible 
methods of securing it, the possible savings 
and delights which may be secured from it. 
In presenting an argument in favor of 
any proposition it is not necessary to present 
much data but only such data as is essential 
to the purpose in hand. The question then 
naturally arises as to what data should be 
presented and what omitted. This question 
can not be answered merely by a study of 
the thing offered for sale, or of the act de- 
sired but rather by a study of the persons 
who are to be affected by the argument. 

III. CREATING AN IDEA OF VALUE. 

In so far as possible we all reduce our 
actions to habit and respond in a stereotyped 
way to whole classes of things. There are 
certain classes of things which we habitually 
reject without hesitation; there are other 
classes which we accept in a perfectly auto- 



104 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

matic manner. Every business man has 
formed the fixed habit of rejecting every 
proposition which he classifies as unprofit- 
able. He has an equally fixed habit of ac- 
cepting anything which he classifies merely 
as profitable. The function of my argu- 
ment is then to cause the public to classify 
my proposition with a group towards which 
they have formed the habit of acting favor- 
ably. Thus if I can get business men to 
classifjr my offer as profitable they will ac- 
cept it ; if they classify it as unprofitable they 
will reject it. 

In reality, arguments are necessary only 
in advocacy of propositions which are so 
complex that they can not readily be class- 
ified with a single group of things towards 
which action is stereotyped. If I am trying 
to persuade you to purchase a home you may 
classify the purchase of the particular piece 
of real estate as securing a home, a good 
investment, or an act which will please your 
family, or an act which will bring you into 
association with very desirable persons. On 
the other, hand you may classify the pur- 
chase of this real estate as the sort of deal 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 105 

which a friend made and on which he lost 
heavily, as a move which would limit your 
freedom of action, as removing you too far 
from your place of business, as being an 
outlay of money greater than is warranted 
at the present time, or as making it impos- 
sible for you to be in the market for a bar- 
gain. All I can do by argument is to pre- 
sent the real estate to you in such a man- 
ner that you will be likely to classify it with 
the things toward which you act favorably 
with the greatest alacrity, and to try and 
keep out of your mind everything which 
would lead you to classify it according to 
some of the unfavorable groups. As a real 
estate dealer I must find out what particular 
conceptions of real estate are most likely to 
be grouped in classes towards which the 
possible dealers are accustomed to respond 
most favorably. If my patrons are con- 
servative and respond regularly only towards 
what seems to be particularly safe then I 
must emphasize the substantial nature of 
my offerings. If they are looking for an 
investment, then I must show how the city 
is growing and how there will be ready 



106 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

sales. Great skill is required in presenting 
any commodity so that it will be most favor- 
ably classified. 

A dictating machine is a new business ap- 
pliance. Whether the business man will 
purchase it or not depends upon how he 
classifies it. The reproduced advertisements 
of dictating machines, Figures 1, 2, 3, and 4, 
are all excellent attempts to present argu- 
ments such that the customers may classify 
the equipments favorably. The advertise- 
ment reproduced as Figure 1 presents the 
business phonograph as a simple device, as 
an apparatus easily operated and as simple 
as the telephone. The advertisement re- 
produced as Figure 2 represents the phono- 
graph as a device for increasing the efficiency 
of typists. The advertisement reproduced 
as Figure 3 presents the business phono- 
graph as a device to relieve the business man 
of the embarrassing presence of the stenog- 
rapher and to enable him to concentrate his 
mind upon his letters. The advertisement 
reproduced as Figure 4 represents the Dic- 
taphone as a device, (a) to save the time of 
a busy man, (b) to increase the efficiency of 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 107 




The simplicity of the 
Edison Business Phonograph 

is like the simplicity of the telephone. You just 
talk directly to the man who reads your letters as 
you talk to the. man on the other end of the phone. 



Simply slip the cylinder on to the 
machine, press on foot- trip and talk. 
It's even simpler than the telephone, 
for you don't have someone at the 
other end of the wire constantly 
butting in with "louder, please," 
or "get closer to the phone.? 
Your dictation is not held up 
while you are waiting for the sten- 
ographertoget through taking some- 
one's else dictation. Besides, you 
can dictate to the Edison Business 
Phonograph twice as fast as a sten- 
ographer can take it or as slowly 



fes you please. And the typewriter 
operator can transcribe your dicta- 
tion nearly twice as fast as from 
shorthand notes. And none of her 
time is lost in taking your dictation. 
It is all spent at the machine, type- 
writing. 

Let the Edison dealer near you 
demonstrate the Edison Business 
Phonograph to you on your own 
work in your own office, without 
obligating you in any way to pur- 
chase. Or write to us for full par- 
ticulars. 



Edison Business Phonograph Company, 200 Lakeside Ave. , Orange, N. JT* 

340 Kent Street. Sydney, N. 6. W. 

Figure 1 



108 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 




Equalizing the work in your office' means far 
greater average efficiency. With the 

Edison Business Phonograph 

ho one girl is * 'snowed under " with enough work 
to keep her busy an hour after closing time while 
another sits practically idle half the afternoon, 
simply because they can't read each other 's notes. 



all spent at the typewriter in "Actual 
productive work. 

The use of the Btlison Business 
Phonograph in your office will raise 
the standard of efficiency aod reduce 
your cost of letter writing at least 
50 per cent. 

The Edison dealer near you will 
demonstrate the Edison Business 
Phonograph to you on your own 
work in your own office. Or write 
us for full particulars to-day. 

Edison Business Phonograph Company, 200 Lakeside Ave., Orange, N. J, 

MO Kent Stmt, Sydney. N. 8. W. 

Figure 2 



And no dictator sits idle waiting for 
a stenographer to be at liberty to 
Uks his dictation. He dictates the 
Wplios to his letters as he reads them, 
tight off the reel, into the Edison 
Bttfliness Phonograph and any 
typewriter operator in the office can 
tauiscribs thsra, twice as fast and 
with afar lower percentage of errors 
than "from shorthand notes. 

Aad no stenographer's time is 
i in taking dictation it u 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 109 




Think of the advantage of dictating your. mail 
without the embarrassing presence of the stenog- 
rapher, waiting, pencil poised, to get your every 
word and sending your best thoughts sky high. 

Such an advantage is possible, 
only with an , 

Edison Business Phonograph 

- where your words must be] 
translated into shorthand and 
then back again before they 
are sent out, 

You need the Edison 
Business Phonograph in your 
business. Let the Edison 
dealer near you demonstrate 
it in your office on your work. 
There is no obligation. 



li permits 
quiet, uninterrupted thought 
stfork without waste of ner- 
WDUS energy arid back of it all 
the assurance that these sane, 
logical, concise and forceful 
letters you have dictated will 
be typewritten without error 
and without your assistance 
a thing impossible in any office 



Edison Business Phonograph Company, 200 Lakeside Ave., Orange, N.J. 

340 Kent Street, Sydney, N. 8. W. 

Figure 3 



110 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 



Dictate to 

Dictaphone 







The Picture Tells the Whole Story 
The RIIAV Man Doesn>t waste a second 

me Busy Man of his valuable time 

waiting for a stenographer. He turns to his 

Dictaphone as he would to his telephone and 

gas the thing done. He talks naturally, just as 

he would talk if the man to whom he is writing were sitting by his 

desk. He has no speed limit. Result: Letters that have ginger, 

letters that convince, letters that sell the goods. 

Thf Orwrafnr ^ as *^ e w kole ^ a y * get out the mail in- 
P^ stead of only half the day or two hours at 

the day's end. No eye-strain from looking on and off her notebook. 

Absolute regulation of the speed at which the dictation is reproduced. 

No time wasted taking shorthand notes. No interruption to take 

dictation while transcribing the mail. She gets through and goes 

home on time. 

Doesn't figure at "all. The machine will cut your 
correspondence expense in half. It won't take 

long- tq save the cost of installation. President Johnson, pf the 

American Lumber Company of Pittsburg, figured that he saved the 

cost of a twelve-machine outfit the first eight months after it was 

installed. 

Write to 

THE DICTAPHONE, 

Box 100. Tribune BuOdl * v~*- 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 111 

the operator, and (c) to reduce office costs. 
The first three put the emphasis of the ad- 
vertisement upon a single conception, the 
fourth divides the emphasis equally between 
three concepts. Each of the advertisements 
presents data such that the business man who 
reads it is almost forced to classify the office 
device with a group of things (simple office 
devices; equipment that will increase ef- 
ficiency of office force, conditions which per- 
mit of concentration, relief to the busy man, 
labor-saving device for operators, reduction 
of office cost) toward which he has formed 
the habit of acting favorably. 

In attempting to find what conception of 
goods leads to purchases of advertised com- 
modities I secured a statement from several 
thousand persons as to what it was in the 
advertisement which led to the purchase or 
caused them to be impressed by some adver- 
tisement as "the best advertisement in the 
magazine." Their statements were classi- 
fied and tabulated and hence I was enabled 
to see which conceptions were most effective 
in impressing this particular public! I pre- 
sent here the classifications which were fi- 



112 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

nally adopted and which proved sufficient to 
include all the thousands of replies. I also 
add, at least in substance, for each class a 
typical reply from one who was impressed 
by the particular conception there men- 
tioned. 

IV. A CLASSIFICATION OF CONCEPTIONS 
WHICH LED TO PURCHASES WITH 
TYPICAL REASONS FOR SPECIAL IN- 
TEREST IN SOME PARTICULAR AD- 
VERTISEMENT. 



(a) The Goods or tlie Offer Appeal to the 
Individual's 

I. BODILY GRATIFICATIONS: 

1. Pleasant to see. (It is a pleasure to 
have it in the house merely to look at.) 

2. Pleasant to hear. ( To hear it played 
well is a perfect delight.) 

3. Pleasant to taste. (Strawberry, 
raspberry, orange and lemon are the very 
flavors which I like best.) 

4. Cleanliness. (I feel that I am clean 
when I have washed myself with it.) 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 113 

5. It gives strength. (It supports me 
and makes me feel strong when I wear it.) 

6. It is labor-saving, convenient or use- 
ful. (I do my own work, and it would save 
me strength and time in doing the work.) 

7. It is restful or comfortable. (I like 
light ones best, and this one is said to be 
as light as a feather, so I think it would be 
very comfortable for me.) 

8. It is healthful. (I have to be very 
careful of what I eat and this is said to con- 
tain all the constructive elements of the body 
and is said to be very easily digested.) 

9. It prolongs life. (I think I would 
live longer if I should wear one constantly.) 

II. SENSE OF ACQUISITION : 

10. It offers a chance to earn. (I am 
compelled to stay at home constantly and 
am in need of earning something. This of- 
fers me a chance of winning a prize and I 
shall try for it.) 

11. It will reduce expenses. (It will 
soon pay for itself by reducing family ex- 
penses.) 



114 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

III. PRESENT NEEDS: 

12. Of article advertised. (I am in 
need of it and am anxious to secure it.) 

13. Business needs. ( I am very anxious 
to be able to fill orders that come to me ? and 
as this is being advertised very extensively, 
it will increase the demand.) 

14. A wish to possess. (I want to pos- 
sess one some day, but can't afford it at 
present.) 

IV. SOCIAL GRATIFICATION: 

15. Benefit of home, child, or friend. 
(I want her to have the very best, and I 
think none will wear longer or better than 
this.) 

16. Style. (I want something that will 
be becoming and that will be of the latest 
style. I have found their goods to be very 
satisfactory before.) 

17. Imitation. (Mrs. Smith got one 
and I want one too.) 

18. Competition. (I believe I could do 
it as well as anyone, and if a prize is to be 
offered I think I would have a good chance 
to win it.) 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 115 

V. CURIOSITY: 

19. It arouses curiosity or anticipation. 
(Ever since I first saw their advertisement 
I have been wondering what it would be like, 
and I am going to send to find out.) 

VI, HIGHER NATURE: 

20. It is instructive. (I like to keep up 
on styles, and their catalogue contains the 
very latest and best fashions.) 

21. It is patriotic. (I think that every 
resident of this state should have one.) 

22. It arouses self -activity. (I like to 
make such things and I will send for the 
patterns at once. 

(6) The Goods Appeal Because, 

I. OF THEIR INHERENT QUALITY: 

23. (a) Durability. (I am the most in- 
terested in the advertisement of the Weir 
jar because I think they will not break easily 
and will last much longer than the jars I 
have been using.) 

24. (b) Variety. (I am most inter- 



116 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

ested in this advertisement as they offer such 
a great variety to choose from.) 

25. (c) Novelty. (I am most inter- 
ested in the advertisement of the New Eng- 
land Watch Co. for the watch is such a novel 
little thing.) 

26. (d) Reliability in quality and purity. 
(I am most interested in the advertisement 
of Fairy Soap because I know it is a soap 
which can be depended upon in every way.) 

II. OF THE METHODS OR CONDITIONS 
UNDER WHICH THEY ARE OFFERED : 

(a) Price or Terms. 

27. Cheapness unspecified. (I am 
most interested in the advertisement of the 
W. B. Corset Co. for they give the prices 
and the corsets seem very cheap.) 

28. Cheapness as compared with local 
prices. ( I am most interested in the adver- 
tisement of the National Cloak Co. for I can 
get my clothes from them cheaper than here 
in town.) 

29. On trial or C. O. D. (I am most 
interested in the advertisement of the Wing 
Piano for they offer to send it on trial. 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 117 

They must have confidence in their pianos 
or they would not do that.) 

(b) Convenience of Securing. 

30. Ease of securing unspecified. (I 
am most interested in this advertisement be- 
cause I can do my shopping so much easier 
by sending to them than by shopping in 
town.) 

31. Promptness in shipping. (I am 
most interested in the advertisement of the 
National Cloak Co. for they filled my order 
and delivered the goods at once when I or- 
dered from them last fall.) 

(c) Precision in Detail. 

32. Defmiteness unspecified. (I am 
most interested in the advertisement of the 
Wing Piano for it is so definite and to the 
point.) 

33. Address of firm given. ( I am most 
interested in this advertisement of Malta 
Vita because I had heard about it and now 
I know where to get it.) 

34. Price of goods given. (I am most 
interested in the advertisements of standard 
baths because the prices are given and I 
could tell just what it would cost to have 



118 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

such a bath room as the one shown in the 
picture.) 

35. Catalogue and samples sent. (I am 
most interested in this advertisement be- 
cause they will send a catalogue and sam- 
ples free.) 

(d) Reputation. 

36. Reliability of firm unspecified. (I 
am most interested in the advertisement of 
Robinson, Robbins and Co. because I know 
the firm to be reliable.) 

37. Satisfied customer. (Mennen's Tal- 
cum Powder interests me more than the 
other advertisements for I have used this 
powder for years and like it very much.) 

38. Satisfied because of its reputation. 
(I am most interested in the advertisement 
of Mellin's Food for I have heard it very 
highly recommended.) 

39. Impressed by recommendations, 
medals, etc. (I am most interested in this 
advertisement because it is recommended so 
highly and has taken so many prizes.) 

40. Impressed by the advertising me- 
dium. (I am most interested in this adver- 
tisement because I know it is what it pre- 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 119 

tends to be, otherwise it would not be al- 
lowed to appear in this magazine.) 

III. THE MAKE-UP OF THE ADVERTISE- 
MENT ATTRACTED: 

41. By illustrated cuts, etc. (I think 
the advertisement of Nestle's Food is far 
more interesting than all the others. The 
picture is one of the most attractive I ever 
saw.) 

42. By its novelty. (I am the most in- 
terested in the advertisement of Gold Dust. 
The Gold Dust twins are such novel little 
creatures. ) 

43. By its frequency and regularity. (I 
am the most interested in the advertisement 
of Corticelli silk. This advertisement is, and 
has been, the most interesting to me for 
years. The lively little kitten and the many 
different and attractive ways in which it is 
presented makes me look for the Corticelli 
advertisement at once when a new magazine 
comes out.) 

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about 
this array of appeals or motives which were 
successful is the diversity of the concepts 



120 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

which were successful with different per- 
sons. Almost all goods offered for sale 
could make a majority of the appeals here 
recorded in the table. Most salesmen get 
into the habit of presenting their goods in 
a particular way and fail to realize the pos- 
sible range of appeals which could be made 
for the goods. Let any man check up his 
practice with this list and he doubtless would 
find some appeal which he is neglecting to 
make and which might be very effective. 

V. THE HOW SUPPLEMENTS THE WHY 
IN AN ARGUMENT. 

If by arguments I am trying to induce 
you to establish a factory in my town I first 
present reasons wliy your factory would be 
particularly profitable there. If I should be 
able to give enough arguments in favor of 
the proposition, you doubtless would figure 
out for yourself how you would go at it to 
establish the factory. You are not con- 
vinced, however, till, in imagination, you 
have established your business there. If, 
when in imagination you have projected 
yourself into the future, no insurmountable 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 121 

difficulties occur to you, you may be con- 
vinced and decide to act. Before you are 
convinced you are likely to figure out how my 
proposition could be carried out. I would 
greatly increase my chances of convincing 
you if instead of confining myself to why 
you should build the factory, I should de- 
vote much of my presentation to describing 
vividly just what you would have to do to 
follow out the plan I am proposing. If by my 
words you are led to imagine yourself as 
establishing the factory, the mental image 
thus formed in your mind is more of a 
"clincher" than any reason for the action 
that could possibly be offered. 

If I am selling by means of advertising 
one of the best known household commodi- 
ties, my argument is incomplete unless I 
state where the goods may be secured. 
Even though the goods may be had at every 
grocery store, and even though every pos- 
sible purchaser may know where to get them, 
yet the advertisement should contain a state- 
ment as to how the goods can be secured. 
The function of such a statement is to cause 
the possible purchaser to imagine himself as 



122 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

going to the store to secure the goods. He 
might possibly think out how to get the goods 
as soon as he had read the descriptions of 
my goods, but my statement of the neces- 
sary means for securing the goods makes 
easy this essential step. 

As a matter of fact there is no household 
commodity so well known that every pos- 
sible purchaser knows just where and how 
to secure it. The salesman is so well ac- 
quainted with his goods and knows so well 
how customers may secure them that he is 
inclined to forget that one of his special du- 
ties is to educate new customers as to where 
and how the goods may be had. 

Even though an advertisement has made 
me want a thing, I am inclined to procrasti- 
nate unless all the steps necessary for se- 
curing the goods are clearly in my mind. 

I decided to try a particular make of 
shoes and to secure them at a convenient 
time when in Chicago. As a matter of fact 
I did not know exactly where they were on 
sale. I could easily have found out but I 
didn't, so I have procrastinated the purchase 
which I would have made if the place for se- 
curing the shoes had been definitely in mind. 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 123 

Many advertisers neglect to emphasize 
the means for securing the goods which they 
exploit. The goods may have general dis- 
tribution and may be on sale at all stores 
handling that general class of merchandise, 
but many possible customers are not aware 
of that fact. They may be convinced of 
the desirability of securing the goods, but 
they fail to purchase because of the uncer- 
tainty as to the place or means of securing 
the goods. 

Furthermore, the emphasis upon the steps 
necessary to secure the goods acts not only 
as a source of information but also as a most 
powerful stimulus to action. 

A large proportion of all advertisements 
of goods having a general distribution fails 
to make use of this psychological fact. In 
the current issue of one of the leading 
American magazines there are 65 full-page 
advertisements of goods having general 
distribution. Of these 65 advertisements, 
22 state with some completeness the means 
of securing the goods. Such expressions 
as these are used in the advertisements: 

"Your druggist and your grocer have 
X ." 



124 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

"Price $3.00, $4.00, $5.00, to $15.00, at 
leading dealers everywhere." 

"Write for catalogue B and name of 
nearest dealer." 

"Sold by all first-class dealers." 

"Sold by all grocers, 10 cents a package." 

Of the 65 advertisements 7 give no hint 
as to methods of securing the goods no 
price, no address, no statement that the 
goods might be had at local dealers, no in- 
formation or hint as to what action is desired 
of possible customers. 

The remaining 59 advertisements have 
inadequate information as to methods of se- 
curing the goods. In fact I can not learn 
from some of the advertisements whether 
the goods advertised are on sale, for in- 
stance, in Evanston or even in Chicago. 

This failure to emphasize the means of 
securing the goods advertised is the most 
glaring weakness in advertising at the pres- 
ent time, and renders ineffectual many oth- 
erwise urgent arguments. 

Sign posts are not necessary in primitive 
villages. In great cities sign posts are 
needed on every corner and these must 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 125 

be supplemented by courteous policemen. 
Modern methods of merchandising have 
transcended the few requirements of the 
village shopkeeper. There are so many 
possible roads which the customer may take 
that he is coming to depend more and more 
on the "sign posts" for his directions. He 
is unwilling to think for himself where 
others will do it for him more satisfactorily. 

The modern merchant can not be too spe- 
cific in his directions as to the exact steps 
necessary in answering an advertisement or 
purchasing goods. It is an important 
question, How may the advertiser best pre- 
sent to the public the method of securing 
the goods? 

The most fundamental condition in any 
such advertising is that the method of se- 
curing the goods should be made clear to all 
possible customers who are not familiar with 
the goods. Even if the commodity has 
been on the market for decades and if it is 
to be had at all grocers or druggists, the 
place where it can be found should be stated 
in every advertisement. The construction 
of the advertisement should be such that 



126 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

when a new possible customer reads the ad- 
vertisement there arises in his mind a picture 
of the place where the goods can be had and 
of the method of securing them. The ad- 
vertiser can not assume that the possible 
customer will use any mental effort in cre- 
ating this mental picture. He can not be 
depended upon to do any constructive think- 
ing, and unless the advertiser has made the 
method of securing the goods so plain that 
the mental picture must be seen by the new 
customer he will not see it and will leave 
the advertisement with no thought of secur- 
ing the goods advertised, or at least he will 
be inclined to procrastinate the actual pur- 
chase because of his mental inertia. 

The wise salesman induces his customer 
to try on the clothing, to drive the automo- 
bile, to play the musical instrument, etc. 
The wise advertiser presents the goods, so 
far as possible, in such a way that the cus- 
tomer will not be compelled to use any orig- 
inal thought in conceiving of all the steps 
involved in the securing of the goods. 

The advertisements reproduced as Fig- 
ures 1, 2, and 3 are particularly strong in 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 127 

that they make the how of responding to 
the advertisement appear plain and easy. 
All that is necessary is to call up the Edison 
people by phone and let them demonstrate. 
If no dealer in the apparatus is known, then 
a letter addressed to the firm, address given, 
will bring full description and demonstra- 
tion. The Dictaphone people would prob- 
ably be glad to demonstrate also but the 
advertisement does not say so. The Edison 
device seems easier to get than the Dicta- 
phone and hence would be more likely to be 
selected simply because the advertisement 
tells more specifically how to get it. 



VI. THE PLACE OF FEELING AND SENTI- 
MENT IN AN ARGUMENT. 

Under the heading, "Creating an Idea of 
Value," we saw that one purpose of an ar- 
gument was to cause the persons appealed 
to, to classify the thing proposed with a 
group of things toward which favorable ac- 
tion was habitual. Under the heading, 
"The How Supplements the WHY in an 
Argument," we saw that one purpose of the 



128 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

argument was to cause our audience to im- 
agine themselves as responding favorably to- 
wards the thing we have to offer. We shall 
now see that a further purpose of an argu- 
ment is to awaken a feeling of value, to cre- 
ate sentiment or, so far as possible, even to 
create an emotional attitude towards the 
thing proposed and in favor of which the 
argument is being presented. 

Much advertising fails to get at the feel- 
ings and emotions, the instincts and senti- 
ments. It must not only convince the pub- 
lic that they OUGHT to act, but it must pre- 
sent its proposition so that it will make them 
WANT to act. 

We are late in reaching the pew but early 
at the bleachers. We put off writing to 
cousins and aunts, but the fiance is answered 
by "return mail." The dictates of reason 
may be resisted but not the promptings of 
sentiment and emotions. 

We put off the things we know we 
OUGHT to do but not the things we WANT 
to do. 

Almost every one who reads the adver- 
tisements of automobiles hankers after a 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 129 

machine, but, unless his income is adequate, 
his better judgment convinces him that it 
would be foolish extravagance to make the 
purchase. In this case we seem to have 
hesitation produced by the judgment even 
when the purchase is prompted by intense 
feelings. But the judgment is easily con- 
vinced of the wisdom of any act which ex- 
cites intense desire. In the case of the auto- 
mobile the judgment easily recognizes a 
fanciful need and yields to the promptings 
of desire. 

A current advertisement takes advantage 
of this psychological situation and makes a 
most clever appeal to possible purchasers 
of automobiles. The following extract from 
the text of the advertisement is very adroit : 
"You may think you don't WANT a motor 
car. But there isn't any question about 
your NEEDING one. There is a difference 
between wanting a thing and needing it. 
.* . . There is nothing that you could in^ 
vest the money in that will pay you such a 
big dividend in the saving of your time in 
business and the saving of your health for 
years, as the purchase of a motor. car. A 



130 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

good thing is a better thing the sooner you 
get it." 

If this advertisement is able to convince 
a man that he OUGHT to get the car he will 
do so at once because he already WANTS to 
purchase it. When desire is surging we are 
easily convinced that we ought to act, and 
hence the act follows immediately. When 
the judgment is convinced but no desire is 
enkindled, procrastination keeps the in- 
tended act from taking place. Many arti- 
cles of merchandise may be so presented 
that the public will DESIRE to purchase them. 
Or they may be so presented that the public 
will merely be convinced that the goods 
OUGHT to be secured. The practical prob- 
lem then arises as to methods of making the 
public WANT to act and WANT to follow 
out specific directions. 

Advertisers have been successful in ac- 
complishing this purpose in various ways. 
Some of these successful methods are worthy 
of consideration. 

Everyone wants to make a dollar. This 
fact is taken advantage of in the advertise- 
ment repro'duee'd as Xo. 5. The original 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 131 




CAMERON MACKENZIE, TRCA 

S.S.M9 CL.URE Co. 

++ East Sar# SI. Hew York Clly 




READ IMPORTANT NOTICE ON OTHER 8DE Or COUPON 




132 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

was run in colors and had the appearance of 
a commercial coupon. Many people were 
unwilling to throw away the "dollar" and so 
subscribed at once for the magazines. They 
would not have responded if the offer had 
not included the use of the coupon even 
though the magazines might have been of- 
fered at even more favorable terms. 
Schemes like this in which there is an ap- 
parent opportunity to win a dollar or some- 
thing else of value takes advantage of the 
human weakness for "getting something for 
nothing." 

Of the 65 full-page advertisements al- 
ready referred to one contains the follow- 
ing statement in display type: "An an- 
nouncement worth $17.50 to every person 
who acts upon it." This offer is made good 
for 30 days only and gives the reader the 
impression that he is forfeiting a chance to 
win $17.50 if he fails to act. 

These are two typical schemes devised to 
appeal to the instinctive desire to gain. The 
success of all such schemes is dependent also 
upon novelty and hence the form of the ap- 
peal must constantly be changed. 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 133 

Goods offered as means of gaining social 
prestige make their appeals to one of the 
most profound of the human instincts. In 
monarchies this instinct is regarded as a mere 
tendency to imitate royalty. In America, 
with no 'such excuse, the eagerness with 
which we attempt to secure merchandise 
used by the "swell and swagger" is absurd, 
but it makes it possible for the advertiser to 
secure more responses than might otherwise 
be possible. As an illustration of this fact 
we need but to look at the successful adver- 
tisements of clothing, automobiles, etc. The 
quality of the goods themselves does not 
seem to be so important as the apparent 
prestige given by the possession of the 
goods. 

Goods which are presented as supplying 
a need long felt by the public are purchased 
without delay. In the case also of objects 
which supply any of the fundamental in- 
stinctive needs the chances are that we shall 
act unhesitatingly. The instinctive desire 
to gain and the desire to win social approval 
are but typical illustrations of appeals to 
the fundamental instincts. 



134 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

Our feelings may be awakened by the 
ideas themselves, by the manner in which the 
ideas are presented, or by a combination of 
the two. The idea of savory viands is 
pleasing in itself and the manner of pre- 
senting the idea may add much to its pleas- 
ing value when presented as is done, 
for example, by the National Biscuit Co. 
in presenting Nabisco to the public. In the 
advertisements of Nabisco an attempt was 
made for many months to please by means of 
fairy maids serving the product, by means 
of pleasing verbal descriptions of the goods 
and by perfect harmony between the illus- 
tration and the type matter. 

The man with the proper imagination is 
able to conceive of any commodity in such a 
way that it becomes an object of emotion to 
him and to those to whom he imparts his pic- 
ture, and hence creates desire rather than a 
mere feeling of ought. It would be hard to 
conceive of any more prosaic things than 
heating plants, night telegrams, washing 
soaps and hair oil. In the mind of the ar- 
tist these homely commodities are trans- 
formed into objects that awaken our senti- 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 135 



Soon housewives will know 






The woman who escapes from 
the tyranny and drudgery of 
old-fashioned, insanitary heat- 
ing methods to that of cleanly, 
automatic heating is surely open 
to congratulations. Too 
many housekeepers are 
chained to brooms, dust- 
pans, and back-breaking 
coal-hods because of the 
relentless slavery to 
stoves and hot-air fur- 
naces. There's a way 

'Two Methods and a Moral" 




AMERICAN, 

/I RADIATORS * 



DEAL 



are the only means of warming a house 
without adding to the labor of its care. 
These outfits of IDEAL Boilers and 
AMERICAN Radiators are absolutely 
clean, will outlast the building itself; and 
the fuel and labor savings soon repay 

their cost, and thereafter prove to be big profit-makers. Step into any sky- 

scraper office building or fine store and you will see they are equipped with 

ouroutfits; the name of our Company you will find cast on the end of each ra- 

diator. It is an evidence of the high quality of our goods, also significant of 

the fact that men would not put up in 

their places of business with the annoy- 

ing heating methods that their wives 

patiently endure. 

To continue the old-fashioned heating 

reflects upon the housewife robs her of 

the few hours per day which she should 

be able to devote to better things. Buy 

an outfit of IDEAL Boilers and AMER- 

ICAN Radiators and like thousands of 

others who have bought, you will, joy- 

fully pass the good word along. Don't 

waitto build a new home or until another 

Winter. Put comfort into your present 

house now done without tearing up, dr 

disturbing old heaters until ready to put 




Showrooms in all large cities 



Write to De P 4 - 4 - Chicago 



Figure 



136 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 




The new "NIGHT LETTER" service of 
The Western Union Telegraph Company offers 
manifold advantages as a means of unabbre- 
viated correspondence by wire. 

It enables those who are traveling to keep 
in close touch with conditions in their homes 
the "NIGHT LETTER" of information or 
inquiry being delivered early next morning. 

Fifty words sent for the price of a con- 
densed day message. 

THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY 

\ Prompt, Efficient, Popular Service. 



Figure 7 




NIGHT LETTERS' BRIDGE DISTANCE 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 137 




Figure 8 



138 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 





Bon Ami 



Cleans, Scours, Polishes 



Cleaning windows is an easy 
task with Bon Ami. 

Cover the glass with a lather 
made by rubbing a wet cloth 
on the cake. 

Let the lather dry. Then wipe 
it clean with a dry cloth. 

Every particle of dust and 
dirt will disappear, leaving a 
clean, sparkling surface. 

Nothing else equals Bon 
.Ami for this purpose. 



It is the same on brass and 
tin, mirrors and glassware, on 
floors and paint, on porcelain 
and oilcloth. 

Bon Ami cleans, 
polishes and scours 
without scratch- 
ing. 

It never rough- 
ens the hands. 

*7 8 years on the market 
"Hasn't scratched vet!" 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 139 

ments and aesthetic feelings. The adver- 
tisement reproduced as Figure 6 presents 
to us a heating plant in such a way 
that our sympathies are aroused at once. 
We sympathize with the misfortune of 
the women suffering from the tyranny 
of the coal stove. We congratulate the 
fortunate possessor of the American Ideal. 
Figure 7 represents night messages in 
a new light to most of us, and in such a 
way that they assume a sentimental value 
in our minds. Figure 8 presents hair oil in 
such a way that the presentation awakens 
our aesthetic appreciation of the beauty of 
the young girl who has been made even more 
beautiful by the use of the oil. The adver- 
tisement reproduced as Figure 9 presents a 
washing compound so artistically, and the 
manner of presentation and the artistic con- 
struction of the advertisement are such, that 
we can not but look at it with pleasure. 
Advertisements reproduced in Figures 6 
and 7 present their merchandise in such a 
way that a sentimental value attaches to the 
goods themselves. Advertisements repro- 
duced in Figures 8 and 9 create pleas- 



140 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

lire by the manner of presenting the goods 
and they also cause us to ascribe to the goods 
themselves something of sentimental value. 
The advertiser should be a good business 
man and should know the goods to be ex- 
ploited. He should be a practical psychol- 
ogist and know the human emotions and 
sentiments. He should also be a man with 
a fertile imagination that he may be able to 
think of his merchandise in its most attrac- 
tive forms. He must also present his ar- 
guments whether picture or type matter- 
in the most artistic manner possible under 
the restrictions imposed upon him. Many 
of our successful national advertisers have 
come to recognize the fact that the artist is 
demanded for the most skillful exploitation 
of merchandise. The literary style em- 
ployed in the advertising pages of our best 
magazines may be compared f avorably v/ith 
the editorial pages. The illustrations which 
are the most successful meet the require- 
ments demanded by the combined judgment 
of the business man, the psychologist and the 
artist. The most convincing arguments are 
those that most adequately describe the 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 141 

merchandise; most skillfully appeal to the 
fundamentals in human nature; and are 
clothed in the most artistic forms. 

VII. WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE. 

Arguments are not assumed to convince 
immediately but to lead to a mental see-saw- 
ing, a weighing of evidence and a passing 
of judgment. In presenting my argu- 
ments to you I am on my guard to present 
them in such a form that you will actually 
be able to weigh them and to pass judgment 
as to the value of the thing which I am try- 
ing to persuade you to accept or to do. I 
therefore present my arguments in a logical 
and simple manner. If I am trying to in- 
duce you to change to the "task and bonus" 
system of wage I must show you what you 
would get according to the new system if 
translated into the terms to which you are 
accustomed. In this way you will immedi- 
ately pass the judgment of "more profit- 
able" upon my proposition. I must con- 
form to your habits of thought, I must de- 
scribe things in a manner which causes you 
to classify them favorably, to imagine 



142 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

yourself as accepting and acting upon my 
arguments and hence enabled to weigh my 
evidence effectively. 

In general it is not wise to emphasize any 
competing line of goods. In presenting my 
arguments I must present them so you may 
compare and weigh my arguments with 
those presented for any other thing. My 
duty is not to assist you to call up these com- 
peting and contrasted ideas but to hold your 
attention so far as possible to my offers. I 
should emphasize particularly those points 
in my commodity at which comparisons with 
other things are made most readily and 
favorably. 

VIII. CONCLUDING THE ARGUMENT. 

My argument is not completed till I have 
induced you to accept the thing which I 
propose or to perform the act which I am 
trying to persuade you to perform. All 
the other steps of the argument are prelim- 
inary to this one function. I can best clinch 
my argument by performing the prelimi- 
nary steps well and then by making action 
easy, or by making it seem the natural and 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 143 

proper thing for you to act. After the 
salesman has properly presented his offer- 
ings, he is in a position to say, "Now that 
you fully appreciate my goods how large 
an order shall I write out for you?" The 
advertisement closes with an appeal to send 
for circular, to write for demonstration or to 
call at once to inspect the goods. These 
means to help you to decide and to execute 
your decision are quite essential since pro- 
crastination is so likely to keep you from do- 
ing the thing which you were just on the 
point of doing. 

In purchasing advertised goods (mail or- 
der advertising particularly) there is usually 
no reason why you should place your order 
now rather than some hours or days later. 
Every student of industrial history knows 
that in the past it has usually been true that 
the. person who placed his orders earliest se- 
cured the hest goods. But in advertised 
goods all orders must be filled with goods 
of uniform quality. 

In personal forms of selling the presence 
of the seller fixes the moment at which the 
buyer could most conveniently make his pur- 



144 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

chases. But when the seller is the printed 
page appearing regularly there is no par- 
ticularly appropriate time for action. This 
is one of the fundamental inherent weak- 
nesses of most forms of advertising and is 
an obvious cause in increasing and making 
habitual this natural tendency to procrasti- 
nate. If we procrastinate purchasing ad- 
vertised goods till a more convenient season, 
the convenient season may never come. 

A short time ago, I went, toward even- 
ing, from Evanston to Chicago. On the 
way my eye caught sight of the street car 
card containing the following sentence: 
"Why not take supper at Henrici's to- 
night?" The definiteness of the question 
got the better of me. I went to Henrici's 
for supper that evening, although I had not 
intended to till I read the street car card. 
If the sentence had read, "Try a supper at 
Henrici's" it would not have been effective 
with me for that night I would have pro- 
crastinated. 

During the months of October, Novem- 
ber and December, certain magazines make 
especial efforts to secure new subscribers. 



MAKING ARGUMENTS EFFECTIVE 145 

One year's subscription received in October 
is good for 15 months; received in Novem- 
ber, good for 14 months; and received in 
December, good for 13 months. Such ap- 
peals are sufficient to overcome the tendency 
to procrastinate in many instances. 

Offers which are advertised as good till 
a particular date, are sometimes accepted by 
more persons than would have accepted if 
the offer had had no time limit. 

All these schemes to secure action by lim- 
iting the time within which an action may 
take place have been successful in partic- 
ular instances, but they are not subject to 
general application in any way. 



CHAPTER VIII 

MAKING SUGGESTIONS EF- 
FECTIVE. 

OUTLINE. 

Mankind is Influenced More by Suggestions than by 
Syllogistic Arguments. 

I. The Working of Suggestion is Dependent upon the 

Dynamic, Impulsive Nature of Ideas. 

II. Suggestions are Given by External Objects and Re- 
sult in Acts Similar to Imitative Acts. 

III. Suggestion Excludes Comparison and Criticism. 

IV. Suggestion Secures Direct Response Without Delay. 



CHAPTER VIII 

MAKING SUGGESTIONS EF- 
FECTIVE. 

MANKIND is INFLUENCED MORE BY SUG- 
GESTION THAN BY SYLLOGISTIC ARGU- 
MENTS. 

WE have numerous books on the study of 
arguments but there is not a book and 
scarcely a chapter of a book (so far as the 
writer knows) which deals with the methods 
and devices of utilizing suggestions in busi- 
ness. It is interesting to the man in busi- 
ness to know that suggestion is, in his hands, 
a more powerful means of influencing men 
than is argument, but what he wants to 
know is precisely how he may give sugges- 
tions. The methods of giving suggestions 
and the sorts of suggestions which will be 
eif ective are discovered from a study of the 
principles found in an analysis of sugges- 
tion itself. 

149 



150 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

I. THE WORKING OF SUGGESTION is DE- 
PENDENT UPON THE DYNAMIC, IM- 
PULSIVE NATURE OF IDEAS. 

From this principle we learn that in giv- 
ing suggestions the thing of importance is 
to give the idea and then to trust to it to 
accomplish results. If I wish you to pur- 
chase a particular make of automobile I must 
get the idea of that automobile into your 
mind. If I want you to engage a certain 
class of employees I must get into your 
mind the idea of these persons considered as 
possible employees. v lt is not necessary to 
convince you of the wisdom of the ideas but 
merely to get the ideas into your head, and 
then to trust to their dynamic natures to 
carry themselves out. If I want the Amer- 
ican people to go to an exposition I must 
keep the idea of that exposition before them. 
It is not so important what I say about the 
exposition as that I put the matter before 
them so they will have the idea of the exposi- 
tion vividly in mind. 

This dependence on the dynamic force of 
ideas has made successful much advertising 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 151 

and other selling campaigns where there is 
no evident attempt to convince the public. 
The advertisement of White Rock repro- 
duced as Figure 10, is a quarter page adver- 




"The World's Best Table Water" 

Figure 10 

tisement that may possibly be very success- 
ful. There is no adequate ground given to 
convince us that White Rock is "The world's 
best table water." Yet the idea is conveyed 
to us by these words and many of us are 
profoundly impressed by it. This may be 
a very good advertisement but if it were not 
for the dynamic force of the idea conveyed, 
the advertisement would be practically 
worthless. 

In taking advantage of the dynamic na- 
ture of ideas the salesman has attempted to 
discover means of imparting ideas in such a 
way that they will be exceedingly vivid and 
hence exceedingly dynamic. In this at- 
tempt pictures, display type and diagrams 



152 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

have been extensively used. Repetition has 
been found very important also as in this 
way the impulsive force of the idea is en- 
forced each successive time it is thought. 
An advertisement which upon its first ap- 
pearance is barren of results may by the 
mere fact of its frequent appearance con- 
vince the public and lead to the desired ac- 
tion. This suggestive force of repetition is 
humorously expressed by Mr. Dooley in his 
sentence, " I belave anything at all, if ye 
only tell it to me often enough." 

Some ideas have much more dynamic 
force than others. The most dynamic are 
those which are the expressions of our emo- 
tions, our sentiments and our instinctive de- 
sires. These represent the most funda- 
mental human interests and lead to immedi- 
ate response. 

II. SUGGESTIONS ARE GIVEN BY EX- 
TERNAL OBJECTS AND RESULT IN 
ACTS SIMILAR TO IMITATIVE ACTS. 

The effectiveness of a suggestion de- 
pends much upon the source from which it 
comes. The most powerful source is a per- 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 153 

son who assumes, and is believed to possess, 
a friendly and sympathetic attitude. Abra- 
ham Lincoln was one of the most successful 
of American diplomats. He knew how to 
deal with men and fortunately he has given 
advice on this particular point. 

"When the conduct of men is designed to 
be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming 
persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is 
an old and true maxim that < j L _drop of 
honey catches more flies than a gallon of 
gall.' So with men. If you would win a\ 
man to your cause, first convince him that 
you are his sincere friend. Therein is a 
drop of honey that catches his heart, which, 
say wharKe^will, when once gained, you will 
find but little trouble in convincing his judg.- 
ment of the justice of your cause, if indeed 
that cause really be a just one. On the 
contrary, assume to dictate to his judgment, 
or to command his action, or to mark him as 
one to be shunned and despised, and he will 
retreat within himself, close all the avenues 
to his head and his heart; and though your 
cause be naked truth itself, and though you 
throw it with more than Herculean force and 



154 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

precision, you will be no more able to pierce 
him than to penetrate the hard shell of a tor- 
toise with a rye straw. Such is man, and so 
must he be understood by those who would 
lead him, even to his own best interests." 

The words of a great authority are sug- 
gestions for those to whom he is an author- 
ity. His words are accepted as facts, are 
not subjected to criticism but are accepted 
unhesitatingly. This power of suggestion 
in the words of men with authority, with 
power and with technical ability is made 
much use of in dealing with men. The ex- 
pert workman becomes the boss of a gang 
and his words are carried out without ques- 
tion. The man whose personality carries ^ 
the most weight is assigned the most impor^ 
tant duties. 

Our subjection to authority is so great 
that it can be taken advantage of in most 
absurd ways. In persuading men we try to 
make our words appear as though they pro- 
ceeded from an authority even when a mo- 
ment's reflection would show the unreality of 
the claim. Thus in the reproduced adver- 
tisement of the New Jersey Zinc Co. in 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 155 



Use Paint made with Oxide of Zinc 

THE INTELLIGENT PAINTER KNOWS m 

that he cannot do satisfactory-work with paint contain- 
ing only one pigment imperfectly mixed by hand. 
He knows that 

OXIDE OF ZINC 

is needed in paint to make it durable, permanent in color 
and economical. If he is frank he will tell you so. 

Does your paint contain Oxide of Zinc? 



Olid, of Zinc U unjJurtbU . 



The New Jersey Zinc Co. 

National City Bank Building 
55 Wall Street, New York. N. Y. 

We do not grind Oxide of Zinc ia Oil. A Ik of manufacture!! of Oxide 
of Zinc Paint* mailed fra on toque*. 

' ' == 

Figure 11 



Serve Karo on the table. 
Better than honey on hot biscuit 
and gives a finer flavor to griddle 
cakes than any other sweet. 

Agrees with everybody. 



K&ro 

Eat it on Use It for 

Griddle Cake*. Ginger Bread 

Hot Biscuit Cookie* 

Waffles Candy 



Karo Cook Book -fifty pages, including 
thirty perfect recipes for borne candy 
making Free. Send your name on a post 
card, today, to 

CORN PRODUCTS REFINING COMPANY 
Dept. Q. 0. New York P. O. Box ut 



Figure 



156 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 




Western <JuTric 



Increase Business Efficiency 

They bring every employee to your elbow. They do the 
work of a regiment of messengers, and your office boy's 
salary for one week will pay the operating expense of an 
Inter-phone system for a year. 

Inter-phones are needed in every business house having two 
or more departments. They are made only by the Western 
Electric Company, makers of all " Bell " Telephones. 

Inter-phones can be installed complete, including labor and 
all material, at a cost ranging from $6 to $30 per station, de- 
pending upon type of equipment selected. 

Write our nearest house for Booklet No. 0000. 
It describes Inter-phone* in detail. 

The Western Electric Company Furnishes Equipment lor Every Electrical Heed. 



WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY " 



Manufacturers of g 

the 5,000.000 D, 

"Bell" Telephones g; 

Johannesburg 




y- Los Angeles 
Seattle 
Salt Lake City 




Figure 13 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 157 




A Trial and how it succeeded 



One of our agents was demonstrating the Comp- 
tometer in a commercial office before the bookkeeper 
and several clerks when the manager came in. 

"What do you think of it. Jim ?" he asked, ad- 
dressing the bookkeeper. 

41 I am not thinking. I am wondering, " 

"How's that?" 

"Wondering what's the use of all this mental 
grind over figures when they can be handled with 
a machine like that. Watch this young man for a 
minute watch him add a few ledger columns and 
extend a bunch of these bills with fractions and 
discounts see the point?" 

"Say, young man", inquired the manager address- 
ing the agent, "how long did it take you to leam it ?" 

"Up to six weeks 'ago 1 had never touched a 
Comptometer. As you see, there's nothing to it but 
pressing the keys. Anyone can work it right from 
the start speed, naturally, is only a matter of a 



little practice. And then there's the accuracy of it 
you cannot expect anything like the same degree 
of accuracy in mental work as you get from a ma- 
chine whose cogs move with automatic precision." 
"Well", said the manager, aftera little reflection, 
"if you boys can turn out work at that rate, even 



ith six month's pr 
ment. You'd all h 
for more importan 
awhile it wouldn't t 

"Yes", agreed th 
letting them put it 



ctice, it would.be a good invest- 
ve considerable time to spare 

work. If you could try it 
ke long to tell what it will do." 

bookkeeper, "that's why I'm 
n on trial. The terms 



that, 

if after trying it we don't w.ant it, we don't keep it." 
The outcome of it was that the machine stayed 
in that office. Since that time, three years ago, fnvr 
more Comptometers have been purchased by tlu- 
tame concern, whose name and address we will be 
glad to furnish to anyone interested. 




Some machine 

quaJly practical, rapid and accu 
Easy to operate, durable, reliable; fits any system. 
Write now. while you have it in mind, for booklet; c 



1 unequalled ip these respects In each one. 
: -trial of the machine, express prepaid. United States or Canada. 



Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company 

Paulinn Sf.mt Chlc-MO. Illinois 



1 704 N. Paulina Street 



Figure 14 



158 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 



mam 




" About once in two months,' ' writes a California wo- 
man, ** I give my mahogany pieces a good bath. 

With a dry cloth, I wipe off the dust. Then, with 
warm Ivory Soap suds and a piece of chamois, I begin the 
washing. After -washing well, I wipe lightly with a piece 
of cheesecloth, polishing -with a chamois. 

I wash just what I can dry and polish at one time. By 
doing this, and a little dusting every day, I am able to keep 
my furniture in good condition." 

Ivory Soap . . 9944/ioo Per Cent. Pure 



Figure 16 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 159 

Figure 11, I am personally impressed by the 
statement, "Use paint made with oxide of 
zinc," simply because the picture of the 
painter fools me into supposing that the 
word of the advertisement writer is the word 
of what appears to be an expert painter. 
This command is to me a suggestion in so 
far as I accept it without criticism or proof. 
This device of showing what appears to be 
the photograph of an expert in connection 
with statements is a common one in adver- 
tising and one that is most eff ective since 
it increases our suggestibility very greatly. 
In this way the prosperous looking business 
man is represented as approving of some 
proposition appertaining to business. The 
physician seems to be affirming the state- 
ment that refers to the medicinal qualities 
of goods. The expert accountant is de- 
picted as recommending the adding ma- 
chine. The typewriting girl is represented 
as describing to us the virtues of a new ma- 
chine. The beautifully dressed lady speaks 
from the finely executed half-tone to assure 
us of the peculiar loveliness of the advertised 
costumes. 



160 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

Imitation is one of the most common 
forms of suggestion. We imitate the acts 
of others without considering the advisability 
of so doing. This fact is most significant in 
understanding methods of influencing men. 
We imitate others more readily than we fol- 
low their words. "Come on!" is more ef- 
fective than "Go on!" If I see others look- 
ing into a shop window I too am inclined to 
stop and look. If others are interested in 
one class of sport, that is the particular form 
that entices me. All fashions and customs 
are but testimonials of the power of imita- 
tion as a form of suggestion. 

In persuading men it is frequently pos- 
sible to avail oneself of the suggestive force 
of imitation even when direct imitation is 
impossible. Thus pictures of others per- 
forming any particular act induce us to imi- 
tate the pictured actions. The advertise- 
ment reproduced as Figure 13 creates in 
the mind of manufacturers a tendency or 
even a desire to imitate the depicted action. 

We imitate most readily those whom we 
look up to or those who are at least our 
equals. This fact is taken advantage of 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 161 

and the respected type of humanity is pre- 
sented to us as an object for our imitation. 
The reproduced advertisement of the Comp- 
tometer, Figure 14, is excellent in idea al- 
though not skillfully executed. Here is an 
attempt to represent interest in the Comp- 
tometer by the various classes of men who 
would naturally be interested in such an ap- 
paratus. Many classes of men are much 
inclined to imitate the depicted actions and 
hence to become interested in the Compto- 
meter and desire to try it. 

III. SUGGESTION EXCLUDES COMPARISON 
AND CRITICISM. 

If I am trying to persuade you by means 
of suggestion, then I must see to it that no 
thought of other possible lines of action 
should enter your mind. I must not men- 
tion competitors nor present my commodity 
in such a way that you would be likely to 
think of other possible lines of action. Also 
in presenting to you my line of goods I must 
not compel you to make choice between dif- 
ferent classes of goods which I offer. 

According to this principle in persuading 



162 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

men the agent avoids all reference to com- 
petitors and the salesman attempts to hold 
your attention down to one class of goods 
at a time. Salesrooms are sometimes so con- 
structed that customers can see none of 
the goods except as they are presented by 
the salesman. The salesman then makes the 
most of this unique opportunity and pre- 
sents to the customer a single line of goods 
and gets a decision on that. This specimen 
of the goods is then removed from sight and 
another presented, but, so far as practicable, 
the customer is not allowed to have two 
possible choices before him at once. This 
method has proved very successful. 

We are more inclined to question a state- 
ment expressed in direct language than we 
are the same statement if expressed in- 
directly or in figurative language. That is 
to say, figurative and indirect language in- 
creases suggestibility. This fact is taken 
advantage of in many of the most successful 
attempts to influence men of which we have 
record. Mark Antony's oration at Caesar's 
funeral, as presented by Shakespeare, is one 
of the most masterly uses of indirect and fig- 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 163 

urative language in stirring men to action. 
This form of expression takes us off our 
guard and keeps us from criticising what is 
said. In fact the speaker does not seem to 
assert anything which could be criticised 
but he leads us to think things which would 
be criticised and would lead to antagonism 
if asserted directly. This figurative and in- 
direct form of language is thus able to in- 
stil in us the desired ideas without giving 
us any occasion to question what has been 
said. 

Some advertisers are making much use of 
this indirect form of expression. In the re- 
produced advertisement of Ivory Soap, Fig- 
ure 15, there is no statement to the eif ect that 
Ivory Soap contains no harmful chemicals, 
but by reading the advertisement and glanc- 
ing at the picture we get that idea most ef- 
fectively. The cleansing power of soap 
has been thus successfully indirectly sug- 
gested also by the name of a series of ad- 
vertisements, /. e., "Spotless Town." 

The taste of foods is peculiarly difficult of 
description. The idea of a food is conse- 
quently often presented indirectly by sug- 



164 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

gestion. In the reproduced advertisement 
of Karo, Figure 12, the pleasing taste of 
Karo is suggested by connecting it with 
various good things to eat. The two follow- 
ing expressions, as given in the advertisement 
are most suggestive: "Eat it on griddle 
cakes, hot biscuit, waffles; use it for ginger 
bread, cookies, candy." In the advertise- 
ments of Ivory Soap and of Karo the impor- 
tant ideas come as results of my interpreta- 
tion and not from the statement of the ad- 
vertisement. This insidious way of impart- 
ing ideas robs one of the opportunity of 
criticism. 

A spirit of frankness, openness and confi- 
dence allays suspicion and increases sugges- 
tibility. The man who has confidence in 
himself and his wares has an easy battle with 
the competitor who lacks self-confidence 
and who is not sure of the value of 
his proposition. No man can hope for 
respect from others unless he has it for him- 
self; he can not readily win others to his 
cause unless he has first convinced himself. 
No man can do himself justice in a calling 
which makes him feel apologetic and neither 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 165 

can he successfully advocate a cause for 
which he feels called upon to apologize. 
The remarkable effectiveness of such 
phrases as, "the kind you'll eventually buy" 
is to be found in this spirit of unbounding 
confidence which the promoter displays in 
his commodity. 

IV. SUGGESTION SECURES DIRECT RE- 
SPONSE WITHOUT DELAY. 

In order that the response may be direct 
and immediate everything must be done to 
make such response as easy as possible. We 
must plan that the desired step shall not be 
of such a nature that it would be likely to 
cause hesitation. Thus in an advertisement, 
in which suggestion is depended upon, the 
reader should be called upon to do something 
which is simple and easy. Many firms find 
it wise to supply the coupon in connection 
with the advertisement that the reader may 
fill it out and mail it at once. Other firms 
offer samples, catalogues, or demonstrations 
upon request; goods are sent c. o. D., or 
charged, or to be paid for upon approval, 
or. upon the promise of money back if not 



166 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

satisfactory. These devices are wonderfully 
successful in begetting action immediately 
following the suggestion. 

Great ingenuity is exercised by some gen- 
eral distributers in suggesting immediate 
action and in controlling the conditions to 
make the suggested action easy of execu- 
tion. Thus in the reproduced advertise- 
ment of the Oliver typ writer, Figure 16, 
the suggestion to action is given by the 
coupon in the form of an automobile. The 
ease of response and the promptness of de- 
livery is also suggested by the sentence, 
"Quick delivery coupon brings the Oliver 
typewriter for seventeen cents a day!" 

The salesman who depends upon the 
power of suggestion presents the order blank 
at the psychological moment, and, without 
taking time to consider, the customer signs 
for his orders. The agent completes his 
suggestion by skillfully putting the question 
which leads to the order. He does not say, 
"Will you take the policy?" but, "Shall I 
make it for Ten Thousand?" The agent 
may effectively put the question in some 
such form as the following also: "Now that 



MAKING SUGGESTIONS EFFECTIVE 167 



Quick Delivery Coupon Brings 

The Oliver 
Typewriter 



for 

Seventeen Cents 
a Da! 



.This couponon-w heels wilt rush (he Oliver 
Typewriter to any point in the States.- It's our 
long-distance Quick Delivery Service. Insert your 
name and address, attach check or draft for $15 
and send it on. The Oliver Typewriter will be de- 
livered in record-breaking time, in perfect working 
order. You can pay balance monthly at the rate 
of seventeen cents a day, while yon art using the 
typewriter! 




Quick (Mirerr Co.p,. u d Order Bluk { 

Asat&*. 



16.. 



. 

OLIVER 



The Standard Visible Writer 



Our army of Oliver agents, over ij. 
cannot possibly meet personally all who wish to 
avail themselves of this Seventeen-Csnts-a-Day 
Offer. We print this coupon to meet the emergency, 
It is the Seventeen-Centsv-Day Selling Plan re- 
duced to its simplest form-. 



The coupon extends the advantages of this 
tremendously popular plan to the 'most remote 
points of this or any other country. It cuts all 
"red tape" does away with delay places the 
world's best fioo typewriter on your desk, for 
-Seventeen Cents a Day. Put your name on the 
coupon now and we will ship your Oliver. 

The Oliver Typewritr Is made of the mott 
expensive materials employed in .typewriter con- 
struction. It is built with infinite care, by highly 
skilled, highly paid, workmen 

It looks easy to see our acres of special machin- 
ery, directed by trained brains and hands, turn 
tons of metal into trainloads of typewriters. 

But back of this vast equipment, back of the 
great organization, back of the big expenditure 
overshadowing, all in importance is THE BIG 
IDEA that finds expression in this marvelous writ- 
ing machine. 



Figure 16 

you understand the nature of our policy do 
you think your wife would be sufficiently 
protected by a policy of fifty thousand?"; 
"Realizing as you do the call which may rea- 
sonably be expected for the goods, do you 
think one car load will be sufficient to sup- 



168 INFLUENCING MEN IN BUSINESS 

ply the demand?" When the customer has 
not yet decided to make the purchase his de- 
cision is sometimes forced by such suggestive 
questions as, "Shall I send it, or will you 
take it with you?"; "Shall I charge it, or 
do you prefer to pay cash?" Unless these 
suggestive questions are put by the right 
person and at the right time they are abso- 
lutely worthless. When properly used they 
are most effective. 

If in persuading men we wish to depend 
upon the working of suggestion we must re- 
lieve them, so far as possible, of the distress- 
ing necessity of deciding and we must also 
relieve them of all difficulty in the steps nec- 
essary to carry out that which we have been 
trying to suggest they should do. The man 
who is able to relieve his prospects in these 
two particulars is the man skilled in carry- 
ing his suggestions to a happy conclusion. 



14 DAY USE 

RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED 

LOAN DEPT. 

This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

on the date to "which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 



REC'D LD 



DEC 9 '64 -0AM 



LD 21A-407n-ll,'63 
(E1602slO)476B 



General Library 
University of California 



RETURN TO the circulation desk of any 
University of California Library 

or to the 

NORTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 
Bldg. 400, Richmond Field Station 
University of California 
Richmond, CA 94804-4698 

ALL BOOKS MAY BE RECALLED AFTER 7 DAYS 

2-month loans may be renewed by calling 
(510)642-6753 

1-year loans may be recharged by bringing 
books to NRLF 

Renewals and recharges may be made 
4 days prior to due date 

DUE AS STAMPED BELOW 



8 2004 



DD20 15M 4-02